Friday, April 20, 2007

Pax for Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill died in the early hours of April 20th, after a years-long battle against lung cancer. You can watch what was probably his last concert here. That performance exacerbates the autumnal glow that suffused Time Lines. In the liner notes to The Day The World Stood Still, Hill describes his younger self as "talented but crazy, semiautistic and eccentric." In his later years, he seemed to have reached an impeccable, fascinating balance between talent, eccentricity and communication.

Below is part of the email from Howard Mandel that informed me of this sad news.

Hi JJA members and friends --

I've been asked by composer and pianist Andrew Hill's family to announce to the press that he died at 4 a.m. today, April 20, 2007, several years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 75 years old and lived in Jersey City, NJ.

Hill, born June 30, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois (contrary to some previously published places and dates dates), had a lengthy international career as performer and recording artist, and educator (at Portland State University; he also gave master classes at New York University, and elsewhere; he leaves a voluminous and highly varied recorded legacy, dating from the 1950s (So In Love) to his 2006 trio album Time Lines (Blue Note), named to many critics' top ten lists. Hill is survived by his wife Joanne Robinson Hill, and a niece, nephew and cousin, besides a devoted coterie of friends, typically creative artists and perceptive fans.
Funeral and tribute information has not been determined. For further information, call me at (212) 533-9495. I first met Andrew in 1971, we kept in touch and became friendly, I regard him highly and am enriched to have known him.

Howard Mandel