Soul Fantasy

Monday, December 8, 2008


Born in Glens Falls, N.Y. in 1951, Hilary didn’t begin to study music in earnest until she was 19, but once she got started she didn’t waste any time. She studied at Boston’s Berklee School of music, at New York University and in Brooklyn with tenor saxophonist Bill Barron. She acquired a wide range of playing experience, working with (among others) an all-woman rock band, a Calypso group, a variety of Latin and Brazilian bands, and a ten-piece woodwind ensemble led by the great saxophonist-composer Sam Rivers. In 1978, George Butler, a man known as a perceptive judge of young talent, signed her to Columbia. For her debut album, Hilary flew out to Los Angeles, where she surrounded herself with the cream of that city’s session musicians and enlisted the services of the very hot Wayne Henderson as producer.

The mood on Just Before After Hours is decidedly funky in the best sense of that rather overused word. Hilary writes and plays in a very danceable groove because that’s the way she feels it. “I listen to, and have learned from, all kinds of music: jazz, classical, Latin, Brazilian, R&B and funk,” Hilary says. “I think however, that my first and probably most enduring inspiration comes from the giants of mainstream jazz. I could never grow tired of listening to Coltrane, Miles, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, and all of the acknowledged masters. I think that my own music is a reflection of the many, varied present-day influences I have been subjected to but the heart and soul of the music that I feel is, I hope, to be found in the same source from which other jazz artists have found their inspiration.”
It’s not a coincidence that what Hilary feels and what’s happening now are one and the same, just as it’s not a coincidence that the good-looking woman on the cover of this record and the impressive musician on the record are one and the same. It just so happens that one of the things that’s happening now is Hilary herself.
Strings arranged by George del Barrio
Vocals arranged by Augie Johnson
Produced by Wayne Henderson

Note: Biography by Peter Keepnews

The above posted track is not played in full

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