quinta-feira, 9 de junho de 2016

Wayne Horvitz: The Pianist And The Poet

The last time we went to Seattle, we met a piano player and bandleader named Wayne Horvitz. Among other things, he books a club called the Royal Room, teaches at Cornish College of the Arts, directs a high school ensemble, and writes and performs many different sorts of music. Jazz and improvised music frames a lot of what he does — but as an artist, it's certainly not the only language he speaks.

"I'm an American composer, not a jazz composer," he says. "My whole life, I've [never] thought of myself as a jazz composer. I've always been in this weird gray area where jazz musicians were the only people who don't consider me a jazz musician. Everybody else does."

Ever since he moved westward from New York in 1988 — he's still remembered by some as the keyboardist in John Zorn's band Naked City — he's integrated himself deep into Seattle's music community. Fittingly, one of his latest projects was inspired by a Seattle-born poet named Richard Hugo, who wrote often about the American West (and the small-town bars he found in them). The songs based on the poems are collected in a new album called Some places are forever afternoon — a line taken from a poem about the working-class Seattle neighborhood of White Center.

That music takes two of Horvitz's bands — a chamber-music group called the Gravitas Quartet and an Americana-tinged outfit called Sweeter That The Day — and melds them into a larger ensemble. Jazz Night In America went to the Earshot Jazz Festival in Seattle to catch a performance of this music, and learn how exactly the poet triggered the pianist.

2:12 - “Money Or A Story”
5:44 - How Wayne turned poetry into jazz
9:23 - “The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs”
22:17 - The roots of Hugo’s poetry
24:22 - “All Weather Is Yours No Matter How Vulgar?”

Wayne Horvitz (piano)

Ron Miles (cornet)
Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon)
Peggy Lee (cello)
Tim Young (guitar)
Keith Lowe (bass)
Eric Eagle (drums)

Recorded Oct 10, 2015 @ Cornish College of the Arts

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