Hilarie Grey

Hilarie’s Contributions


September 2002    Currents

Midnight Morning
Greg Adams

On the power-packed solo outing Midnight Morning (Ripa), funk pioneer Greg Adams blows today's moody trumpeters away. The mind behind Tower of Power's groundbreaking arrangements gives a master class in trumpet styles, cruising through the dizzying, busy...


July/August 2002    Currents

Sensual Journey
Will Downing

Singer-songwriter Will Downing has one of those voices that could make a two-chord arrangement of the phone book sound interesting: it's a resonant, whisper-to-embrace baritone that is as romantically appealing as a Luther Vandross or Jeffrey Osborne. With...


July/August 2002    Currents

Smooth Urban Jazz

Though he is the primary artist on this collective project, saxophonist, keyboardist and producer Kim Waters appears without above-the-title fanfare in Streetwize on Smooth Urban Jazz (Shanachie), featuring NAC arrangements of R&B and hip-hop chart-toppers...


July/August 2002    Currents

Crazy Vibes and Things
Down to the Bone

With an intense energy and giddy rhythmic complexity, the U.K. quintet Down to the Bone shows the right way to craft urban groove music. On Crazy Vibes and Things (GRP) the group spins dancing, electric-charged pieces that are fully integrated melodic works...


July/August 2002    Currents

Melo X

A truly unusual merging of techno and traditional, the work of Melo X builds on direct samples or story ideas from a variety of ancient cultures. On Do (Quinton), the five-member ensemble offers intriguing looks within and dramatic clashes between these...


July/August 2002    Currents

Perfect World
Rocky Gordon

It's a shame, but the very rough independent-production quality of saxophonist Rocky Gordon's Perfect World (Misata Entertainment Group) makes it difficult to give the music a reasonable evaluation. The mix isolates the individual instruments rather than...


July/August 2002    Currents

Into Your Heart
Tom Schuman

Meditative, exploratory and warm without being overly sentimental, the tunes populating Into Your Heart (Jazzbridge) are instantly relatable mood sketches drawn from Tom Schuman's creative keyboards. From the buzzing, majestically meandering, keyboard-lead...


July/August 2002    Currents

Gregory James Band

On Reincarnation (Rogue Records), the Gregory James Band seems to fall short of its highbrow-hip aspirations. Guitarist James leads a large group of specialty players on artsy (and often interesting) setups that either fail to develop melodically or throw...


July/August 2002    Currents

Phase II

On their second full-album collaborative, Phase II (GBM) the individually renowned brothers Gary and Greg Grainger play elastic, energetic funk highlighting rhythmic gymnastics. For listeners this means a lot of the good stuff: gleeful drums and percussion...


July/August 2002    Currents

Finally the Rain Has Come
Leni Stern

The rare musical poet whose compositions can be at once heartbreaking and life affirming, Leni Stern infuses Finally the Rain Has Come (LSR) with both stream-of-consciousness meandering and pop sensibility. Stern, whose eloquent guitar work sets off her...


July/August 2002    Currents

Keepin' It Real
Joe McBride and the Texas Rhythm Club

Joe McBride and the Texas Rhythm Club's Keepin' It Real (Heads Up) opens with a cover of the electric-funk crusher "Woke Up This Morning," familiar to many as the theme to the startling HBO cable drama The Sopranos. Hearing this gritty take is a treat, from...


June 2002    Currents

Urban Knights Presents: The Chicago Project
Chicago Project

Ramsey Lewis' Urban Knights-once a collaborative smooth-jazz supergroup-is now an exciting, bona fide development center for emerging Chicago-based talent. Lewis and the gang continue the welcome direction of Urban Knights IV with The Chicago Project, this...

June 2002    Currents

We Stand... As One World
Various Artists

Many entertainers have generously donated time and talent to assist the families and agencies devastated by the terror attacks of Sept. 11, with musical projects-overtly patriotic and otherwise-leading the list of worthy endeavors. What distinguishes the...


June 2002    Currents

The Conversation

As HeavyShift, the British duo of keyboardist William South and saxophone specialist John Wallace infuse The Conversation with welcome doses of sly musical wit, as well as memorable hooks and excellent musicianship. In the hands of lesser talents, a gliding...


June 2002    Currents

Love Songs
Warren Hill

Love Songs finds Warren Hill putting his saxophone spin on a number of romantic classics. This is a hit-and-miss affair, dictated mostly by the scale of melodrama in any given arrangement. Where Hill chirps and pulls off sweetly on the light, pretty pop...


June 2002    Currents

Once in a Red Moon
Secret Garden

Though you may find its albums stashed among the new-age electronica, the distinctively international duo Secret Garden takes giant steps away from your average ambient players on Once in a Red Moon (548678; 51:14 Decca). Drawing from their native Scandinavian...

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About Hilarie Grey