Friday, March 6, 2015

Wayne Horvitz, The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, At the Reception

Wayne Horvitz has shown himself, as keyboardist-pianist and composer, one of the most versatile jazzmen active today. His avant electric funk has been innovative and important part of his style. But equally so his acoustic music. We get a very impressive example of the latter with his big band, known as the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, and their album At the Reception (Song Lines 1609-2).

It's a game gathering of good players on the Seattle scene, some 14 of them that include worthy solo talent. They are well-rehearsed and very capable. But the compositions and arrangements by Horvitz are the main attraction. They run the gamut of styles from in-the-pocket swingers to post-Evans tone poems to adventurous avant fare. There is even something that sounds either like a Jewish or Italian (or both) folk dance, which has a sense of humor.

There is a great deal of good music here, 74 minutes worth. Absorbing it takes some time. Once you do you go away from this with a real appreciation of Horvitz's great skill and talent. This is big band music that does not sound quite like anything else. New music, truly.

The truth is in the telling, so I strongly suggest you get this one and listen closely. It is a triumph!

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