Hillmen — The Whiskey Mountain Sessions
(Firepool Records FR002, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01
Hillmen is an improvisational four-piece featuring drummer Peter Hillman, the Topanga contingent of Djam Karet – Gayle Ellett on organ and electric piano and guitarist Mike Murray, plus track depending, the bassist could be Ralph Rivers or Steve Re. Their approach is completely free and spontaneous; nothing is composed – they just roll the tape and let it happen, so to speak. The results range from low volume psychedelic rock to fusion to acid jazz and all points in between, with all players putting in an equal amount of energy into the stylistic mix. As such this is not a forum for soloing, but an organic collaborative unit that evolves in many directions as it goes. Like all music of this type, sometimes it grips your consciousness, and sometimes you just tend to drift away from it, and it's that completely free quality that keeps it interesting for the duration if one chooses to concentrate on it, but it doesn't demand the listener's attention. Drop in or drop out at will. Once you've played the disc around 20 times, some degree of familiarity will certainly follow. There are four long tracks here, about 43 minutes total, and any one of these could go in just about any direction as it germinates and develops.
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