Wayne Horvitz and Sweeter Than the Day — A Walk in the Dark
((Not on label) no#, 2008, CD)
Wayne Horvitz Gravitas Quartet — Way out East
(Songlines SGL SA1558-2, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-10-01
One of Seattle’s finest composers, Wayne Horvitz, has crafted a new ensemble album for his main quartet. Horvitz’ signature technique translates into imploring melodic constructs within jazz and folk voicing that are seemingly off the cuff but well crafted. The proof is in mix between these two differing efforts. A Walk in the Dark unfolds a distinct balance between Tim Young’s nimble Telecaster finger playing and Horvitz’ unison lines that probe in deceptive control. In contrast “We Never Met” is a clever sweeping waltz, while “Undecided” could be a bluesy voter statement anchored by a lower register piano root. Other picks include “Between the Floors,” a slippery subtle but elegant ballad, and “Waltz for a Woman from Tokyo,” that explores a sad melody with purposeful chord changes and unfettered folk overtones. Horvitz’ compositional palette never ceases to astound, especially on “The 29th Day of May,” where parallel improv lines accentuate Young’s restraint working in tandem with Horvitz’s interjections and chordal melodic traffic control.
Recorded in parallel with Sweeter than the Day’s newest recording, Horvitz expounded on unique arrangements and instrumentation for his second Gravitas studio effort. Denver horn player Ron Miles is perhaps best known for work in the avant-garde playing with his own band while bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck adds some rooting in many of the pieces. By this band, “Waltz or a Lady from Tokyo” is a sweet understated ballad, while the late Elliot Smith’s ballad, “A Fond Farewell” is rendered in a completely different light than the original. The tone of the disc is a bit austere at times, with a controlled atmosphere leaving no room for improv. But it’s that disparity with Horvitz’ other work that shores up the expectations provided in this recording. Overall it’s his unique co-mingling of composition and musician interplay that makes this recording a betting man’s horse that will finish if not outright win the ears of attuned listeners.
Related artist(s): Wayne Horvitz
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more