Art Lillard & Blue Heaven – Deep Art



Drummer Art Lillard has long been an established jazz musician in the New York City area, but he originally hails from Florida just like so many luminaries of his generation and just like them, was mentored by the late great Ira Sullivan. Also a Berklee College of Music graduate, who majored in arranging and composition, his band Blue Heaven, moreso than any contemporary New York jazz group, has been able to present an authentic cross-section of unique straight-ahead jazz music, ranging from Dixieland to Bebop and beyond. He has a vast resume, having recorded and played with giants like Jaki Byard, Junior Cook, Buddy DeFranco, Arturo O’Farrill, and countless others.

On this outing he has decided to feature Gary Fisher on Piano, unleashed within these excellent arrangements, half of which are done by Art himself, and the other half primarily by Mark McCarron. Art’s drumming has both a steady pulse at all times, admixed with a dangerous edge that will keep you on your toes. Rounding out the band are amazingly solid contributions from bassist Ralph Hamperian, the swinging tenor sax of Widespread Depression Orchestra alumni Mike Hashim and the classic be-bop trumpet of Richie Vitale. Art makes sure that all his songs are danceable and always felt in the heart.

Regardless of whether approaching standard fare like “April in Paris” or this pretty rare rendition of the Johnny Hodges small band hit entitled “Castle Rock”, the listener will never get bored, as these are the types of riffs that feed you that good old RHYTHM that is often missing from jazz music these days. You, as the consumer of these tunes will no doubt learn first hand the concept of eternal swing, which is truly timeless the way Art brings it forth!


1. April in Paris (3:47) (Vernon Duke)

2. Castle Rock (5:59) (Al Sears)

3. Nonchalant (6:30) (Art Lillard)

4. Evidence/Just You Just Me (4:59) (T. Monk/Jesse Greer)

5. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (4:10) (Jimmy McHugh)

6. Let’s Get Lost (6:03) (Jimmy McHugh)

7. Easy Street (4:12) (Art Lillard)

8. You Can’t Win Blues (4:29) (Art Lillard)

9. Opus One (4:15) (Sy Oliver)

10. Wannabees Waltz (4:13) (Art Lillard)



Art Lillard: drums, composition, arranging, & leader

Michael Hashim: tenor sax

Richie Vitale: trumpet

Noah Bless: trombone

Gary Fisher: piano

Ralph Hamperian: bass

On “Nonchalant”:

Jim Clouse tenor sax

John Mosca trombone

On “Easy Street”:

Isaac Cenzia guitar


Recorded on August 31, 2021at Park West Studios, Brooklyn, NY

Engineer: Jim Clouse. 

Original Art: Sara Wildavsky

Cover Art: Culture Freedom

Liner Notes: Joey “G-Clef” Cavaseno

Additional information

Weight .25 oz
Dimensions 5 × 6 × .5 in
Media Type



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