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Excition

Hilton Ruiz

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Album Review

Over the course of a few days in early 1977, pianist Hilton Ruiz recorded enough music for a trio of Steeplechase albums. Excition is a strong example of Ruiz's ability as both a performer and arranger. Leading a solid quintet with saxophonist Frank Foster, trumpeter Richard Williams, bassist Buster Williams, and drummer Roy Brooks, the leader's "Dedicated to the Cooker" is a breezy hard bop vehicle that sparks his session mates. Foster penned the forward-thinking "Excition," on which he switches to soprano sax. He's back on tenor sax for another original, "The House That Love Built," a melodic ballad which omits Williams. The trumpeter contributed "Blues for Becky," a hip hard bop number. The original LP only had four tracks, so this CD reissue adds a take of Pharoah Sanders' "Origin," an enjoyable rendition but clearly not as strong as the originally selected material.

Biography

Born: 29 May 1952 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz was a musician of uncommon versatility, shuttling seamlessly between the complex improvisations of the avant-garde and the relentless rhythms of Afro-Cuban music. Born in New York City on May 29, 1952, Ruiz was a child prodigy who performed at Carnegie Recital Hall at age eight. In addition to classical studies, he explored jazz under the tutelage of the legendary Mary Lou Williams, and at 14 made his recorded debut with the Latin soul outfit Ray Jay and the East Siders....
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Excition, Hilton Ruiz
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