by Linda Hutchinson
The Jazz Standard is a classy establishment, but the Billy Childs Quartet raised the bar Thursday night. Led by two–time Grammy winner Childs on piano, the band also featured Eric Harland on drums, Steve Wilson on sax, and Hans Glawischnig on bass. According to Childs, the first time these four fine musicians had ever played together was about one hour before show time.
It was impossible to tell. First up was a tune Childs had written long ago for his son, “Aaron’s Song”: a melodic, captivating epic of riveting crescendos and mellow valleys. “Backwards Bop” had a world- class drum solo, while “Stay” showcased Child’s enchanting piano skills. “Quiet Girl” possessed a whimsical feel, while “A Starry Night” began gently before exploding into a stellar tempest. It was truly impressive to witness the speed and precision with which Child’s hands flew over those Steinway keys.
Childs, who composed all of the works on the program, marries jazz and chamber music in his latest CD, "Autumn: In Moving Pictures, Vol.2." “I have CDs available this evening," Childs told us, charmingly. "If you liked the performance please buy one. If you didn’t like it, then please buy two.” This writer would like one, please.