from The New York Times:

The keyboardist and composer Wayne Horvitz lived and worked in New York City for most of the ’80s, when combining jazz with other kinds of popular or experimental languages, American or otherwise seemed exciting and almost imperative. There was a lot of the shock-of-the-new going on back then, and a lot of deference and homage to the history of the early ’60s New York avant-garde.

But Mr. Horvitz stood apart. He had an evened-out, coherent composing voice that contained bebop and rock, gospel hymns and country, free jazz and funk and midcentury film music and Charles Ives. There was very little posturing or provocation or wackiness in it. It didn’t feel like a stretch.

He moved to Seattle in 1988 with his wife, the composer Robin Holcomb: our loss. But he’s done valuable work there, alone and collectively. About a year and a half ago Mr. Horvitz, now 57, became a partner in a music space and bar called the Royal Room, in Columbia City, in Seattle. He books it, more or less. (He was the first booker at the Knitting Factory in New York in 1986.) And he plays there with his own group, the Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, twice a month.

The group plays his compositions and he reorders them, sometimes radically, using some of the hand signals developed to conduct improvisers by his old New York friend Butch Morris, who died this year. Mr. Morris called the process conduction. On Tuesday at the Stone, where Mr. Horvitz started a six-night run of his 13-piece band — its first New York performances — the music sounded like a formal acknowledgment of Mr. Morris’s method and a demonstration of Mr. Horvitz’s freedoms within it.

Continue reading at The New York Times.

Seattle Jazz