THE WORLD OVER
Wow what an album!!!!!!! Fabulous stuff! I can hear the John Barry influences,
along with some Pino Donaggio, Morricone and Lalo Schifrin, but it certainly
has a very original Hillman touch. Rain's production is staggering and the
pastoral tracks are simply beautiful. I found myself getting way too engrossed
with it when it arrived, so much so I missed my train to Brighton, LOL! Quite
possibly this is one of the best soundtracks to an imaginary movie I have heard
in a long long time! Actually it IS!
I could wax lyrical over this disc for ages, but I guess you by now know how
much I am in awe and enamoured by it I am. Captivating and simply beautiful.
Well keep that dream alive Steve, if there is any justice in this world then you
will be peeling a soundtrack off soon! Richly deserved!
Time for another Martini and Agent poses as I spin it once again. Thanks!!
Chris Christou, UK 18th June 06.
Steve Hillman - The World Over 3/3
O's Notes: Pianist Steve Hillman takes us on a journey through fourteen of his
latest compositions. He is joined by Darrell Davison (cello), Iain Ballamy (sax),
Gareth Davies (fl), Phil Morgan (violin) and Rain (b). They open with Fired Up",
a spirited marching band song. Morgan's strings paint the sullen mood on "As
Chance Would Have It" and Davies is showcased on "Flute Jazz". There is a
sense of racy adventure on "What The Hell" and high energy on "The Chase Is
On". The trip concludes with "Journey's End" and we can picture the credits
rolling down the screen. It is a fruitful trip.
D. Oscar Groomes 25th June 06.
O's Place Jazz Newsletter, USA
While short on solos, The World Over is filled with a myriad of compositional
ideas. Each song comes across as either a theme or background music for a
James Bond type action thriller.
With almost every song clocking in under five minutes, what transpires for
the length of the cd are compositions that evoke images of chase scenes
and dramatic vistas. Fired up mixes full toned trombones and pianos
leading the way for hard driving drumming and electronic keyboards.
Long Hot Night combines electronic chords and piano rhythms supported
by dronelike synthesizers and sound effects. The contrasting luking piano work
and flute mixing with the keyboards and well crafted special effects is quite
intriguing. Mournful violin work segues into flute and synthesizer stated themes
on Flute Jazz. Slow Down features Middle Eastern rhythms providing a
foundation for electronic guitar and soprano sax laden themes. There isnt any
space given for an exploration of the themes, but the ideas and moods are
in abundant supply.
Fans of Lalo Schifrin would enjoy this immensely.
George W. Harris August 06
Jazz Weekly, USA
Although as usual Steve Hillman has composed and arranged all the tracks,
this time he has called in some of Britains top musicians to play along with him.
Steve Hillman limited himself to only keyboards and the occasional bit of
percussion. Brought into the studio is literally the crème de la crème, Iain
Ballamy on soprano and tenor sax (who many of you may be familiar with,
as he used to play in the excellent Bill Brufords Earthworks); Rain, who
plays all of the guitar parts, which must have been pretty daunting to play
under the guidance of such a good guitarist as Steve Hillman himself; and
Phil Morgan on the violin and viola, which he does with great aplomb, making
the spooky or sexy passages of the music quite exhilarating. Darrell Davison
plays the cello, whilst Gareth Davies has the unenviable job of replacing
Steves wife Linda on all the flute parts; very well he does too, not surprising
really as his day job is that of principal flautist of the London Symphony
Orchestra. In fact you can safely say that all the musicians are at the top of
their talents. However, the keyboard playing of Steve Hillman is the thing that
stands out amongst the music, surprisingly jazzy at times, particularly in the
wonderful but too short Thirties Thing.
The most exciting thing about the whole album is that you can actually imagine
the film unfolding as you listen to the music. For the sake of this review I have
created my own special agent Phil Simonbrook 008, who in the plot for our
movie has to go in and save the heroine Lovely Deborah (no doubt a close
relative to Pussy Galore), after the last 007 Daniel Craig makes a hash of
things in Casino Royale. Simonbrook has to go in and save the girl and the
world. The opening title sequence is aptly named Fired Up, as the mood is
set up by some strident music that fairs favorably with any other Bond movie
opening, leaving you in no doubt that there is plenty adventure to come.
Lindas Theme covers the usual Bond requirements where Simonbrook
is briefed by M and then has some fun on a visit to Q.
Long Hot Night is a fully fledged action sequence which finds Simonbrook
abseiling down the side of the castle where he thinks the Lovely Debbie is
held captive, only to come flying through the window to find that Lovely Debbie
is gone, as she has already overpowered her captives and fled.
This is followed by the title track where Simonbrook and Lovely are reunited,
and prepare to save the world from the wicked Root Of All Evil. But of course
before there is time to save the world Simonbrook and Lovely have to do what
hero and heroine have to do. By the sounds of some of these tracks this will be
one of the steamiest secret agent stories ever told, building to several climaxes.
By the time you get to track ten, Slow Down, things are brought back under
control and it is time for the films shattering finale. The song titles say it all:
What The Hell, Regrets, and The Chase Is On. By this time it seems pretty
likely Simonbrook and Lovely have vanquished the Root Of All Evil, and the
World is once again safe. Which just leaves the closing Journeys End to allow
Phil Simonbrook and Lovely Debbie to float away into the sunset.
The music is so inspiring that I am sure whoever listens to this album will be
able to make up their own storyline to it, but I assure you it will be an excellent
story. Perhaps now they should make a new film and build it around the
A great idea by Dreamfast Cinema, excellently executed by Steve Hillman.
The World Over will definitely be Mott the Dogs album of the year.
Kim Fletcher August 06
Mott the Dog, Rock Music Critic, Thailand.
This is truely a standout achievment beyond any musician I have ever encountered
climbing toward the pinnacle of creativity. In other words great going my man!
Ben Wolf, New York September 06