By: Howard Mandel
From jazzhouse.org, website of the Jazz Journalists Association
The last music I heard at the SFJazz Festival 2000 was strains of Andrew Hill's Dusk sextet, to which I've committed myself in print several times this year and which continues to move me on each hearing. Both on record (Palmetto) and in performances, the haunting music Hill's written has the deep and wide range of hues of the sky at twilight, with stellar interpretations by Marty Ehrlich, passionate and careful on alto sax and bass clarinet, Ron Horton on probing trumpet, Aaron Stewart unleashing tenor sax vigor (following the album's Greg Tardy), very solid and deep-pulsing bassist Scott Coley, most interesting young drummer Nasheet Waits (in the chair established by Billy Drummond). Hill's own pianism is understated yet provocative, dryly witty and curious, unafraid of complexity, complications or contrariness but unaffectedly direct; he works in parrallel to his ensemble, drawing one'se ears (when we can hear him -- at Yerba Buena theater he might have been set up so his keyboard could be seen and the piano well open towards the audience) through the layers and folds of the arrangements. Beautiful and original sounds, a gift to the listener.