Jill Haley’s roots in classical, folk and jazz styles create a sound that is singular in its unique signature. Her work with the oboe and English horn are noteworthy and she has performed on several albums with multiple artists. Her band, One Alternative has made six albums and enjoys an international stage with radio and television. Among her many accomplishments, Haley has worked closely with Will Ackerman of Windham Hill Records for over twenty years, pairing her unique oboe sound with his masterful guitar playing.
If I could describe Zion And Bryce Canyon Soundscapes succinctly, it would be an audible vacation for the senses. Putting this album on after a hectic day in the working world melted the stress from my mind. Guest musicians on this beautiful tribute to the Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in Utah are David Cullen (guitar, bass), Dana Cullen (French horn), and Graham Cullen (cello). Pair these talented musicians with the graceful piano, oboe and English horn performances by Jill Haley and you have an amazing journey over landscapes and time that will truly take you places.
“Hoodoo Silhouettes” is a lullaby to the senses. The piece soars with tentative piano keys that melt seamlessly into string instrument perfection. Close your eyes and let the soundscape of the canyons take you away from the weight of the world. Nothing is as simple as letting the music enrapture you, body and soul. Open your ears and feel the subtle changes in harmony and structure, lapping at your ears like ocean tides. This track is delicate and deliberate and full of the colors of the desert.
“Queen’s Garden” hails to the majesty of nature’s wonder. Horns trumpet in heralding the bounty that can be beheld in nature’s vast garden. The piano in this piece is very intense and melds well with the smooth as buttercream horn section. Theatrical playing takes you over the land, flying over rock formations and gliding with the birds of prey as they climb the skies.
“Waves of Wind” is perfectly named. Every note is a whisper of wind on your face. It is a caress of air that dances along a stream to the tune of string and horn instrumentation that sticks in your mind long after the last note is played. The piece moves into a multi-instrumentation masterpiece that dances along the wind and lets your imagination take flight. This song captures the skill and versatility of Haley and really pops.
Jill Haley combines the best of her training in folk, jazz and classical to craft an album that is a journey of the senses. Zion and Bryce Canyon Soundscapes is a shining example of Haley’s ability to improvise and is a tribute to the National Parks in Utah. This album crosses boundaries of piano and classical with whimsical jazz flavors, making it a pleasure to listen to after a hard day. Haley and the talented musicians performing on the album have crafted an experience that is theatrical with images of nature and beauty and artful with every note that is played. This album was a joy to listen to.
Key Tracks-Hoodoo Silhouettes, Queen’s Garden, Waves of Wind
September 30, 2012