Two for Joy
Springhill is a quartet of jazz, folk and rock influenced players from the mountains of south central Montana. The group is spearheaded by pianist Ann Tappan and guitarist Craig Hall. Their first CD, self-titled, turned heads and garnered strong media praise from savvy journalists. Lofty and folksy one minute and deep, dark and ethereal the next, the project was wide-ranging yet cohesive, original and current. "Two for Joy" continues the Springhill sound, with Chad Langford on bass and Brad Edwards on drums. On stage pianist Ann Tappan's spatial style compliments fiery folk and electric guitarist Craig Hall. Bassist Chad Langford is aggressive and knows how and when to challenge the soloists. Drummer/percussionist and recording engineer Brad Edwards contributes delicate cymbal washes one minute and hard driving grooves the next, enforcing the shape of each tune. Strongest among Springhill's influences, which range from James Taylor to Thelonius Monk to Sting, is a group of European and Asian writers including Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le. The group feels a bond with other players who choose jazz as a starting point, but whose roots don't lie in downtown New York. Springhill's concert set is engaging, somewhat in your face, and always involves some wide-open spaces. That's where their roots lie. The group has performed widely in the Northwest and has shared the stage with such notables as Joan Armitrading, Dave Grusin and Eberhard Weber. The band performed at the XXIV Prague International Jazz Festival in 2002 and returned to The Czech Republic in 2003 and 2005 to play Jazz Festivals in Prague, Hradec Kralove, Usti and Karlovy Vary as well as jazz clubs in Prague.