Eric Lilley Trio, Follow Up Review
Eric Lilley is a pianist and composer from Corona, California, who graduated from Berklee College of Music in 1978. He joined Atlantic recording artists The Energetics, and later Lilley joined Herb Reed of the original Platters. Today Lilley calls Denver Colorado home and is an in-demand pianist and label owner called Twin Goat Music. The label features his albums Songs Without Words, a solo piano album, and his ensemble releases Joie de Vivre and Follow Up. The latter is his latest release and features his trio and nine original compositions with Mark Diamond on bass and Dru Heller on drums. Jose Espino guest on two tracks on percussion to add a deeper Latin groove.
Follow Up is Lilley’s second album release in twenty-twenty, and one that continues to evolve Lilley’s compositional and solo catalog of creative angles. The jazz tradition is constant in his playing, and the trio conforms to the long tradition of high-level player interactions within the piano trio. Still, they also forge their own path and dialog. In general, Lilley has a modern jazz language that is sophisticated melodically and harmonically while still striking a balance of melodicism and listener accessibility. The opening Latin feel of “Bud Bop” conveys joy and playfulness, with Epino’s percussion and Heller’s drums creating a solid rhythmic foundation for Diamond and Lilley to explore the harmony upon. Lilley explores multiple registers of the piano for his solo with a focus on rhythmic motif development. A montuno gives the drums and percussion the space to shine. “The Weston Walk” is a medium-tempo composition with Lilley and Diamond playing the melody with Heller providing counterpoint. The solo’s blues-based harmonies and form give a clear picture of Lilley’s linear concepts of tonality, which is fresh and swinging, nothing jarring or off-putting here. Diamond fingers a playful bass solo with plenty of interaction with the supporting members. “Tricycle” keeps the swing alive and is another compositional exploration by Lilley. Overall, Follow Up is a solid album focused on musicality, following the music’s lead, and being true to one’s inner musical voice. The compositions and playing will offer the jazz fan a beautiful listen and continues the excellent piano trio tradition of interaction and flow. That’s the short of it!.
Connect with Eric Lilley: Website |
The Weston Walk
The Hollow Way
Summer's Second Day
October 11, 2020
Eric Lilley Trio