Composer Gregg Hill grew up in central Michigan in a household where the music was always playing. As a small child, he remembers conga lines snaking through the house on Saturday nights to the sound of jazz. His parents, Norma and Ken, were part of the swing craze in the big band era. His sister Susan, also plays piano and is a life-long music lover.
In high school, Gregg played sax in a stage band and headed up a quintet. He loved the saxophone, but the piano had a stronger allure as far as creative possibilities. The piano took over completely when he was bitten by the jazz writing bug.
Gregg's parent's love of music and piano jazz (in particular) was a great source of his inspiration.
March 9th, 2020 JazzWeek lists "Brothers" Album as "Chartbound"
34) Bassist Rodney Whitaker “Common Ground: The music of Gregg Hill”
#6 Rodney Whitaker-After Shock from the album "Common Ground: The Music of Gregg Hill" Listen to the full show.
Rodney Whitaker—Common Ground: The msuic of Gregg Hill. "The variety is broad and the band itself can blow up a storm!"
Rodney Whitaker—Common Ground the Music of Gregg Hill.
...unified, collective sensibility is one layer of meaning that filters into the title "Common Ground." You can find another in the nature of the relationship between Whitaker and the composer of the songs, which have the flavor of new discoveries from the 1960s canons of Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane and Eddie Harris. His name is Gregg Hill, 73, an autodidact who started writing music seriously in 1984.
"On Common Ground, he [Rodney Whitaker] has put together an eight-song program of tunes by composer and pianist Gregg Hill, a favorite of his. Among Whitaker's collaborators here are hard bop trumpet kingpin Terrell Stafford and Whitaker's daughter, vocalist Rockelle Fortin. As the cover photo shows, it's a labor of love—several of the songs have an earnest whiff of social and political idealism. Everyone gets to shine, notably Stafford and his frequent collaborator, pianist Bruce Barth."
Outrospectives © 2015
Spontaneity © 2016
Moonducks © 2019
I’m pleased to announce the release of my newest book of original jazz compositions "Moonducks"! It has 39 new tunes I’ve been working on for the last 3 years. The inspiration for the tunes comes from fragments of everyday experiences that trigger (or sometimes demand) a creative response. A songbird's tones, a random smile, a jumping fish, a train rumbling in the distance. These nuggets of everyday life become notes and rhythms that push their way to the surface as a melody and take shape on the piano keys.
I have always thought that an original tune performed should have enough melodic content to stick in the head of the listener — Enough to be whistled or hummed on the way home or into the next day. No hooks required, just something fresh to the ear.
"Dancing Light" The Outropectives perform the music of Gregg Hill. 2019 Cold Plunge Records
"Brothers" recorded live with four tunes by the Randy Napoleon Quartet, Paul Keller (bass), Randy Gelispie (drums), Rick Roe (piano) and four tunes by the Bill Heid trio, with Paul Keller (bass) and Randy Gelispie (drums). 2020 Cold Plunge Records