History shows that Harry Hillman was an American hurdler who competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis and won three gold medals for his efforts. What does this have to do with Tilt you might ask? Well, back in 2009, a post-jazz quartet of Swiss musicians formed and decided to name themselves after Hillman, 105 years after his landmark victories at the Olympics. The Great Harry Hillman are comprised of Nils Fischer (reeds), David Koch (guitar, effects), Samuel Huwyler (bass), and
Dominik Mahnig (drums), and Tilt is their third release overall, and first for Cuneiform Records.
Made up of eight tracks, Tilt is not your normal jazz release, as most of these compositions have a dark, ominous element permeating the arrangements, the subdued menace of "Snoezelen" kicking things off before the noisy guitar rock of "Strengen denkt an" kicks in, complete with intricate drum fills from Mahnig as he flails away alongside violent shards from Koch and plenty of acrobatic courtesy of Huwyler, with Fischer's reeds adding the charming jazz flavor. The crisp rhythms of "The New Fragrance" allow for plenty of Fischer explorations, while "354°" is moody, atmospheric jazz at its best, reminding somewhat of Pat Metheny or Mike Stern, before the dramatic crescendo of post rock makes its appearance. Another highlight is "How to Dice an Onion", a quirky slice of jazzy improv featuring intricate rhythms and snaking lead lines from Fischer before Koch's metallic guitar licks jump in and go for the jugular.
If you like your jazz a bit off the beaten path and with plenty of rock infusion, Tilt is an easy recommendation for you. Cuneiform have another hot one on their hands, so make sure you don't miss out on The Great Harry Hillman.
Strengen denkt an 04:30
The New Fragrance 05:54
Agnes fliegt 05:06
Remazing Ace 07:05
How to Dice an Onion 04:13