Subject to Change
Bill Hart was born and raised in Canada; he began playing guitar at the young age of nine years old. Hart immediately felt drawn to the instrument and would find every opportunity to covertly rendezvous with his guitar. A lifelong connection was formed. Hart started taking lessons when he was thirteen. Initially, he played rock, influenced by the diverse guitar styles of Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. One day, in a music store, he saw a jazz musician playing a guitar and doing the most incredible things. Bill wanted to know how the guitarist played that amazing music. Thirty years later, Hart modestly says he is still trying to figure it out. Nowadays, Hart is the one playing the amazing music, while always keeping it accessible to one and all. Hart's early training was fairly non-traditional. As a teenager, he spent time playing in theater's performing "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" and "Little Shop of Horrors," where he was the designated musician, providing live music for the shows. Fascinated by the mathematical precision of music, Bill attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, California, graduating with honors. Bill has studied under master guitarists Mike Stern, Steve Khan, Wayne Krantz and Scott Henderson. Bill's true joy comes from playing his original compositions. Bill Hart has opened for jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Lou Rawls, Yellow Jackets, Acoustic Alchemy, Joey Defrancesco, Norman Brown, Rippingtons and Mike Stern. Hart has been the head of the guitar program at the Atlanta Institute of Music for fifteen years, teaching and mentoring over 1800 students. He has participated in numerous music clinics with seminar partners such as Scott Ambush and Joel Rosenblatt (Spyro Gyra), Mike Stern (Miles Davis Band), Adam Nitti (Steven Curtis Chapman), Shane Theriot (Neville Brothers) and Jimmy Herring (The Grateful Dead). Bill Hart is a master guitarist and composer. With roots in rock, and influences from modern jazz and funk, Hart's original compositions are creative and harmonically rich. Expertly played by extraordinary musicians, each performance on his latest CD, Subject to Change is a textural journey of colors through rhythmic complexities and expressive compositions, truly an experience in musical communication from the soul. It's a treat for any true connoisseur of music. Hart's new release Subject to Change ignites the fusion flame. What kind of fusion, one might ask, since jazz has been fusing in all kinds of directions in the last few decades? For Hart, the answer is; whatever musical connection appeals to him and remains accessible to a wide listening audience. This time out, Hart again collaborates with long time friend and teacher Mike Stern (guitar) along with, Enrico Galetta (bass), Gary Wilkins (bass), Charles Marvray (drums), Tom Knight (drums), Jef Ven Veen (drums), Ahsa Ahla (percussion). This stellar offering aptly combines the jazz, blues, funk, rock and groove aspects that are prominent in Hart's style. The result is groovin', high-voltage performances offered in a virtually nonstop stream of burning ideas and well-crafted compositions. This is state-of-the-art electric jazz. "On My Way Home," kicks off the set with driving rhythmic interaction between guitarist, Bill Hart and drummer, Tom Knight that triggers inventive sparked climaxes and fast-paced lines. Hart has fully mastered the electric guitar as a jazz-fusion instrument and bassist, Enrico Galetta ties the group into a finely oiled machine. Like contemporaries Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin, his solos replaces the acoustically oriented, horn-influenced styles of earlier jazz guitarists with the sustained tones, sliding phrases and power-driven sounds associated with rock. "Jim Gilligan" infuses the complex and rich harmonies known to modern jazz, coupled with the rhythmic coloration, and sweet-toned guitar of Hart, this cut is a moody introspective journey that tributes a long time friend of Hart's that has passed over. Again, bassist Enrico Galetta takes a poignant solo while sustaining a steady linkage with the motivic patterns. "Sara's Song" is a beautifully conveyed, emotionally and musically rich message that was inspired by Hart's eldest daughter and her entrance into life. He explains; "In August of 1998 my daughter Sara was born pre-mature 1-lbs 11oz., staying by her side for nine weeks in the hospital, I would bring my guitar and write music for my first solo record. Under all that uncertainty, this tune effortlessly, manifested. On this CD I recorded it the way I played it during that time, before recording it with my group. This was perhaps a spiritual experience. She will be 10 years old this year and in great health." "Loose Gravel" is a funky, rhythmically propulsive cut that instantly gets your feet tappin'. The chemistry and interaction between the group is clearly evident. Galetta provides the perfect climax to a dynamic cut with a prodigious strumming, plunking, thumping solo, scouring the outer limits of his instrument. Drummer, Tom Knight, a titanic engine of rhythm provides balanced propulsive backup support with several motion-blurring, percussively explosive improvisational excursions. This cut is a chance to showcase Hart's be-bop solo with harmonic sophistication with exhilarating, string-bending intensity. "What Are You Doing" features long time friend and highly acclaimed guitarist Mike Stern. The two weave a canvas of able associates, with toe-curling intensity all performed with consummate ease. Hart countering Stern's driving lines with aggressive, often multi-phonic patterns of his own creates a chemistry of call and answer like two friends discussing their favorite subject. This track clearly speaks for itself; one only needs to listen to hear the message. "This Is Why," accentuates the calm and the emotive feelings music can inspire. For Hart, this was one of those special moments. In his words, he explains; "definitely a spiritual experience recording this tune. Not to mention that Mike Stern was playing chords beside me as I was recording my solo. This changed my life. I recorded it in one take running direct with the intention of re-doing it through an amp when Mike was gone. I transcribed my solo and tried to re-record it. I got the notes right and the time down pat, but the soul was gone. So I stayed with the original solo. There is something deeper going on that I can't explain." This cut features drummer, Jef Ven Veen. His ability to create original and sophisticated rhythms is the gentle touch that truly compliments the full emotional message of this moving cut. "Cerchi Nel Grano" takes us to the end of this well-balanced and tasty outing. This cut is a syncopated, funky vehicle that provides sections of well-stretched openness for each improviser to have room to fully express their true voice. Intricate latticework of shimmering guitar lines by Hart and powerhouse rhythm by drummer, Charles Marvray and percussionist, Ahsa Ahla give this track an exotic flavor that is befitting of the closer spot. Hart has released two CDs under the Bill Hart Project banner: Watch the Sky and Think About It. He has had the esteemed pleasure to recording as a sideman for other artists such as Nancee Kahler, Tim Acres, Adam Nitti, Petro Bass and Gabe Jerome. Subject to Change is another triumphant blend of searing chops, engaging melodies and infectious grooves, enhanced by the inspiring sound of long time friend Mike Stern who special guests appearances "What Are You Doing" and "This Is Why." Subject to Change exemplifies Hart's verve for new directions and new influences in his music and further establishes his place among the top jazz and fusion guitarists of today.
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