The Snowghost Sessions Wayne Horvitz
- 1The Pauls04:45
- 2No Blood Relation #104:14
- 5Apart from You #102:40
- 7For James Tenney03:37
- 8No Blood Relation #2 02:46
- 9Flies on Friday01:19
- 10The Trees03:24
- 11Yukio and Nao's Duet04:58
- 1255 6 (21) Variations02:41
- 1355 6 (7) Variations03:03
- 14Apart from You #2 03:49
- 15American Bandstand04:21
Info for The Snowghost Sessions
Pianist Horvitz adds keys and electronics to his palette in a program of his haunting, emotionally resonant compositions. His longtime collaborators, Seattle bassist Geoff Harper and drummer Eric Eagle, are right there in the zone with him as they sometimes take the music into avant-jazz territory, sometimes keep it inside. It’s a subtle record of grace and beauty (Horvitz calls it “textural and contemplative”), one that repays close listening. The audiophile recording was done at state-of-the-art SnowGhost Studio in Montana.
Interestingly, this is the first trio record from Horvitz since the 1980s, and his first piano/keys-bass-drums record ever. It’s closest in feel perhaps to his classic quartet releases American Bandstand/Forever (2000) and Sweeter Than the Day (2001), but in many ways freer. The trio had the luxury of a week-long residency at SnowGhost, with no set list of pieces to record and no agenda. As Horvitz writes, “I’ve never felt so free of expectations in the recording studio in my life. The sessions were relaxed, creative, and without a specific goal. We didn’t set out to make a record, we just set out to enjoy the process. I brought in a pile of tunes and sketches, and started making music. The only thing I knew was I wanted to work with Eric and Geoff, and I wanted find an organic marriage between the idea of a piano trio and some ideas I’d been exploring with amplified and processed piano.” In 2016 Eagle and Horvitz began editing and mixing in Seattle. Using the same relaxed approach as the sessions, the mixes were done over a 9-month period. Most tracks are live, including the processing, with minimal overdubs; a few involve multiple keyboards.
Wayne Horvitz, piano, live processing, Wurlitzer, Hammond B-3, Nord Lead, TX-7, Mellotron
Geoff Harper, double bass
Eric Eagle, drums, percussion
took piano lessons briefly as a child. At 13, he received a few classical guitar lessons; he found the style unsuitable and quit. A year later, influenced by the records of blues pianist Otis Spann, he took up the piano again. From that point, he was largely self-taught. Horvitz made a name for himself in the '80s by playing with some of the leading lights on the downtown New York-based experimental/improv scene, including Bobby Previte, Butch Morris, Fred Frith, Elliott Sharp, and others. His most famous association was with saxophonist/composer John Zorn as a member of the latter's band, Naked City. Horvitz-led ensembles included the President, the Horvitz/Morris/Previte Trio, and Pigpen. By the mid-'90s, Horvitz had moved from New York to the Pacific Northwest; his primary band became the Seattle-based Zony Mash (Horvitz; Timothy Young, guitar; Keith Lowe, bass; Andy Roth, drums). Their organ-based, groove-oriented music incorporates some 'outside' elements, but largely avoids the avant-garde tendencies characteristic of Horvitz's New York work. Besides Zony Mash, Horvitz continues to perform in other contexts, leading the Four Plus One Ensemble (Horvitz; Eyvind Kang, violin; Julian Priester, trombone; Reggie Watts, keyboards; Tucker Martine, electronics and live processing) and Ponga (Horvitz; Bobby Previte, drums; Skerik, saxes; Dave Palmer, keyboards). Horvitz has also recorded for the Songlines, Knitting Factory, Elektra/Nonesuch, Sound Aspects, and Black Saint labels.
Guitarist Timothy Young has performed in Seattle rock bands The Scabs, Scallywags and Devilhead, and with Robin Holcomb, Eyvind Kang, Bill Frisell, John Zorn, Julian Priester, Michael White, Sam Rivers, and the Young Composers Collective (renamed the Degenerate Art Ensemble), with whom he helped create a live score for Fritz Lang1s Metropolis (available on CD). He also spent five years touring with Cambodian master musician Dr. Sam Ang Sam performing traditional Pin Peat repertoire.
Bassist Keith Lowe's early background is in symphonic music; more recent interests include the blues (the Duffy Bishop Band, Rod Cook's Toast), Louisiana blues-rock (Guano Bueno), and jazz and funk (Crack Sabbath, with Skerik, Leif Totusek, Ron Weinstein, and Mike Stone). He tours with Fiona Apple and Bill Frisell's Willies.
Drummer Andy Roth plays jazz, rock, funk, reggae... He has performed and recorded with Robin Holcomb, Bill Frisell, Jay Clayton, Jim Knapp, and the New York Composers Orchestra (West), and is a member of Seattle world-beat band The Groove.