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"Childs is an inventive composer and arranger whose effort in those areas consistently expand the dimensions of the jazz genre - and beyond." - The Los Angeles Times
Billy Childs Quartet
Featuring: Billy Childs - Piano
Dayna Stephens - Saxophones
Hans Glawischnig - Bass
Ari Hoenig - Drums
Since his first recordings of the 1980s, Billy Childs has developed into one of the most distinctive and distinguished composers of our time. An accomplished symphonic writer, he has also amassed a career's worth of jazz originals that can swing hard, dazzle with intricacy, touch you with direct simplicity, or mesmerize with crystalline lyricism.
On his new Mack Avenue debut album "Rebirth", Childs reaches back to the start of his almost astoundingly varied musical experience--leading a small jazz band of state-of-the-art musicians with his piano playing.
At his musical core, Childs is an improvising pianist. He has the ability to equally distill the harmonic and rhythmic languages of classical music and jazz into his playing. The wide-ranging vocabulary on the taut track "Tightrope" begs the question of Childs' love of classical music; "I'm not just jazz," he stresses. His insistent pulse and melodically probing introduction to song is a key to the Childs' musical identity: open to extended harmonic possibilities as they come along, taking a flexible approach to time and leaving an open door for input from his bandmates.
A Los Angeles native, Childs grew up in a home hearing his parents' musical tastes: Bach, Stan Getz and Antonio Carlos Jobim, the Swingle Singers. As Childs developed, he was deeply touched by the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the Modern Jazz Quartet and Laura Nyro, among other contemporary musicians.
"Rebirth" touches the combustible intimacy that Childs knew in the Hubbard and Johnson bands, and has instilled it into his own ensembles. So is Childs returning to an instrumental posture that he once knew or is he coming to the small ensemble with new perspectives? "A little of both, actually," he offers. "I'm revisiting some familiar ground with different musical eyes. My playing is more evolved now--influenced by newer musical trends."
"You're hearing something on this album that I love doing but that I haven't done a lot of lately: having musical conversations as a member of a group. That's what I love."