Oct 9 2015
Wayne Horvitz created two Gravitas Quartet albums, the companion pieces Way Out East and One Dance Alone, and served up just about the most compelling mix of Jazz and Classical music I’ve ever heard. Centerpiece is the trumpet of Ron Miles, whose sound is a pure distillation of heartbreak. Even when he’s turning up the temperature, Miles emits a quavering vulnerability that makes each note sound honest and sincere. In a chamber jazz setting like on Way Out East, he’s given plenty of room to express those sentiments. With Peggy Lee’s cello and Sara Schoenbeck’s bassoon adding lovely moodiness to Horvitz’s compositional template, the quartet glides through a series of thoughtful expressions and delicate sentiments.
There are tracks like “Ladies and Gentleman” and “A Remembrance…” that bubble with avant-garde bassoon gurgles, pensive trumpet sighs, sharp cello lines, and twittering piano notes. Others, like “Way Out East” and “Berlin 1914,” have a slow meander as serene as a walk in the park and as a warm as a fireplace on a winter afternoon. But most, like album-opener “LB” and this week’s free track “You Were Just Here (for Philip),” include both approaches, and effect an intoxicating contrast of beauty and scar, of fresh pure snow and sharp glistening ice.
You can download that track either by hitting the “download” button on the audio player below or by going directly to Horvitz’s Bandcamp page. The added reward of downloading from the Bandcamp page is that Horvitz has been writing something about each track in the free series and posting it there.
Your album personnel: Wayne Horvitz (piano, electronics), Ron Miles (trumpet), Peggy Lee (cello), and Sara Schoenbeck (bassoon).
Released in 2006 on the Songlines Recordings label.
Explore more of Wayne’s music on his Bandcamp page.