Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz
Genre: chamber jazz
Riley Mulherkar, Zubin Hensler, trumpets Andy Clausen, Willem de Koch, trombones + Wayne Horvitz, keyboards and electronics
Four young Seattle brass players, all relocated to New York City to study at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music, decided to form a quartet in late 2011. Through much experimentation they discovered a colorful collective sound that drew from American folk music, indie rock, jazz, and classical music. For the next two years they performed constantly in both cities, creating and developing a large repertoire of original compositions. In early 2013 The Westerlies were approached by their Seattle-based teacher, friend, and mentor, Wayne Horvitz, to create a record of his music. They wholeheartedly agreed; all four of them were already very familiar with his body of work and had played in a number of his ensembles. After exploring his prolific output of the past thirty years, they selected a range of jazz tunes, film music, and classical chamber pieces, and chose to record them on location during their annual summer residency in the San Juan Islands of Washington.
The collaborative process between Horvitz and The Westerlies proved to be challenging and fruitful. On the process of arranging Horvitz’s music, Willem de Koch explains that “the unorthodox instrumentation both forced and allowed us to find our own approach to the music, simply because we can’t follow many of the conventional idioms of traditional jazz.” Riley Mulherkar adds, “The process of arranging varied from tune to tune – some are deconstructed and abstracted from their original context, while others are played nearly verbatim to the sheet music. Improvisation is woven into the fabric of everything we play, so whether in an exposed solo or hidden as a texture behind a melody, we are constantly finding new ways to interpret the music in the moment.” Horvitz’s unique sensibilities shine through in every track; he’s clearly con- cerned with the sources of contemporary American music, such as blues, jazz, and old-time folk, and his music explores them with a nostalgia not immune to disruption and risk. The Westerlies’ vibrant interpretations of Horvitz’s music makes this album an evocative view of one of America’s most engaging genre-bending artists.