Posts Tagged ‘The Westerlies’

Dave Douglas LITTLE GIANT STILL LIFE with The Westerlies and Anwar Marshall

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Twelve brand new Dave Douglas compositions and arrangements for five brass players and drums.
A broad range of vibrations and strategies

Inspired By Politically Engaged Visual Artist Stuart Davis,
Music Written During 2016 Presidential Campaign Season


Little Giant Still Life is an exciting new meeting between the acclaimed emerging talents of The Westerlies–known for their work with Fleet Foxes, their repertoire of original compositions, and interpretations of the music of Wayne Horvitz –and the young Philadelphia-based drummer Anwar Marshall (Fresh Cut Orchestra, Kurt Rosenwinkel), all under the compositional vision of Dave Douglas. The music contained herein is grooving, swinging, lyrical, and something distinct in Douglas’ over 50 recordings as a leader of original music, and as director of Greenleaf Music.

Much of the music on Little Giant Still Life was inspired by the American painter Stuart Davis, and the music explodes with the same bright colors and excitement that characterize much of Davis’s works. Elaborating on the influence, Douglas quips: “I like the explosive nature of Davis’ work — bright colors, big shapes, images bouncing off each other. Also, the fact that jazz inspired so much of his own work was meaningful for me. Swing Landscape is a good example of Davis refracting what he is hearing in the music for visual use. It’s only natural for musicians to see the work and refract right back!”

While Davis’ mark is heavily felt throughout the album, Douglas’ fledgling relationship with his collaborators are of equal weight. Douglas met The Westerlies – trumpeters Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler, trombonists Willem de Koch and Andy Clausen – at a Chamber Music America event a few years ago. The five of them first played together when The Westerlies opened for Douglas’ quintet at Seattle’s Earshot Jazz Festival. The band sat in on the tune “Barbara Allen” and realized that a more serious collaboration was bound to happen. Mulherkar reflects: “Dave started writing tune after tune for us and him to play together, and when we finally got together again everything came together pretty quickly.”

With the addition of Marshall, the ensemble was complete. Douglas notes, “The Westerlies are dream players for a composer. They really get inside the music and internalize it. They are also great ensemble improvisers — that is, their tendency is to solo all together, rather than one by one. I love that about them. Anwar has a deep groove and real feel for the big landscape of the music; he understands peaks and valleys, and plays with superb empathy. It has made him the perfect player for this project.”


The Westerlies Receive Praise For Their New Album Wish The Children Would Come On Home, From Kevin Whitehead on NPR’s Fresh Air

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014


NPR’s jazz critic Kevin Whitehead recently gave The Westerlies’ record Wish The Children Would Come on Home a rave review on Fresh Air. Whitehead spoke at length of the tutelage that The Westerlies received in their native Seattle fromWayne Horvitz, whose compositions the band plays exclusively on their debut,Wish The Children Would Come on Home.  To this end, Whitehead remarked: “The Westerlies represent a breed of performers rare when Wayne Horvitz was coming up: skilled interpreters, who were also adept improvisers”.


Wayne Horvitz – Ever-Evolving Composer and Conceptualist, Keyboardist and Curator – Releases the Intoxicating, Genre-Defying Album-Length Work 55: Music and Dance in Concrete on Vinyl LP and Download in August

Monday, June 9th, 2014

55” Comes Hot on the Heels of the Acclaimed Album 
Wish the Children Would Come on Home: The Music of WayneHorvitz by Young New York Band The Westerlies,
All Horvitz Mentees

Photo credit: Daniel Sheehan

“…filled with space and light, though refracted in ways that only composer WayneHorvitz could accomplish” – NPR Weekend Edition


As a composer and keyboardist with a genre-defying, ever-evolving body of work,Wayne Horvitz has gone from key figure on the 1980s downtown New York music scene to catalyst for another fertile scene in Seattle over the past two decades.

He has composed works of every stripe, along with leading multiple bands, serving as mentor for a new generation of artists and curating one of the Seattle’s most vital clubs, The Royal Room. Moreover, Horvitz’s art has simply proved him to be one of America’s most creative musicians, a purveyor of what Mojo Magazinehas called “Delightful and original.”

In August, Horvitz releases on vinyl LP and digital download 55: Music and Dance in Concrete, one of his most fascinating works to date as composer and conceptualist – a sonic hallucinogen that melds composition and improvisation, acoustic environment and electronic manipulation.

Music and Dance in Concrete the album is a distillation of the score from a modular, site-specific work Horvitz created in collaboration with choreographer-dancer Yukio Suzuki, video artist Yohei Saito and longtime Horvitzcollaborator producer-engineer Tucker Martine (Bill Frisell, Sufjan Stevens, Spoon, The Decemberists, R.E.M., My Morning Jacket, Beth Orton, Neko Case and Laura Veirs, among others) that premiered in 2012 at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, WA.


Winter & Spring 2014 – Fully Altered Release Schedule

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Winter & Spring 2014 Fully Altered Release Schedule

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Edward Simon & Ensemble Venezuela
Venezuelan Suite (Sunnyside)
Out January 21, 2014

Edward Simon‘s Venezuelan Suite (Sunnyside) represents the pianist and composer’s first full-fledged foray combining his love for jazz composition, contemporary classical composition and rhythms and textures of his native Venezuela. Known for years as a journeyman pianist for the likes of Bobby Watson’s Horizon, Terence Blanchard, Herbie Mann, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby Hutcherson, Paquito D’Rivera and as a member of theSF Jazz Collective and Ninety Miles Band. Simon’s Ensemble Venezuela is a chamber music group; a mixture of Venezuelan players such as cuatro player Jorge Glem, bassist Roberto Koch, flutist Marco Granados and New York jazz musicians such as saxophonist Mark Turner and bass clarinetist John Ellis, harpist Edmar Castañeda, as well as drummer Adam Cruz.

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Steve Treseler Group feat. Ingrid Jensen
Center Song (self-released)
Out January 21, 2014

The Steve Treseler Group featuring Ingrid Jensen releases Center Song today. Steve is a Seattle-based saxophonist and educator who recently self-published a book on jazz improvisation and harmony entitled, The Living Jazz Tradition (which has been used in jazz improvisation classes at Berklee College of Music, The University of Idaho, and Central Washington University) and is a regular at Seattle’s Royal Room, where he debuted this music live at the 2013 Earshot Jazz Festival.  Steve just began a masters program at University of Washington, where he is graduate student assistant to trumpeter-composer Cuong Vu, head of Jazz Studies. Steve is currently studying with Vu, guitarist Bill Frisell and Visiting Artist Ted Poor, among others.

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Doug Wieselman
From Water (88 Records)
Out January 21, 2014

Doug Wieselman is a New York institution, though perhaps a soft-spoken and too often behind-the-scenes one. Active in the New York music scene since 1987, Wieselman has seamlessly infiltrated the singer-songwriter, rock, jazz, experimental, theater and even television music worlds forging long-term relationships with artists such as Laurie Anderson, Antony & The Johnsons, Jolie Holland, Cibo Matto, Marianne Faithfull, Hal Willner, Marc Ribot, Guy Klucevsek, Anthony Coleman and playwrights Robert Wilson and Athol Fugard, among countless others. Wieselman co-wrote all the music to Nickelodeon’s The Backyardigans (TM) with former Lounge Lizard Evan Lurie. From Water is a solo clarinet record with electronic loops showcasing the sounds Wieselman has heard or been inspired by, when listening to bodies of water. Following two NYC solo shows, he will tour the West Coast in March.


Nils Wogram & Root 70
Riomar (NWOG)
Out January 28, 2014

There aren’t all too many bands today in jazz that have worked consistently over many years. Root 70 is, however, such a group. From album to album, one can follow how trombonist Nils Wogram, saxophonist Hayden Chisholm, bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jochen Rückert have not only founded a dynamic group identity and diligently merged into a unit over many years. One can also hear how these musicians have set new focal points in their work together, again and again, far beyond the sum of their individual parts. On Riomar, they transcend the quartet context for the first time and expand their structure by three string instruments.

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Pete Robbins
Pyramid (Hate Laugh Music)
Out January 28, 2014

With Pyramid, saxophonist Pete Robbins explores a different sort of standard – classic rock and pop tracks that were formative for him as a youth: Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine,” Nirvana’s “Lithium,” Stevie Wonder’s “Too High,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” by way of Jeff Buckley, even Glenn Campbell’s Jimmy Webb-penned hit “Wichita Lineman.” The Brooklyn-based Robbins turns these tunes inside out with a quartet featuring some of New York’s most abundantly talented musicians: pianist Vijay Iyer, double-bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Robbins and company not only re-invent classic songs in an utterly individual and jazz-wise way; they dig into a batch of the saxophonist’s originals, playing with the pithy, catchy spirit of the covers in mind. Pyramid is the saxophonist’s seventh album as a leader.


Zara McFarlane
If You Knew Her 
(Brownswood Recordings)
Out Feb. 11, 2014

It’s a tough task for music critics to write about a singer that genuinely knocks their socks off.  Zara McFarlane is the London based singer, who, in 2011 released Until Tomorrow, a debut album that had many critics in a spin.  Praise came thick and fast. They spoke of a voice of sparkling clarity, a voice that was warm and powerful, and of a singer who sang with equal parts childlike innocence and womanly assertiveness.  But perhaps what critics missed amongst the hail of praise, is something altogether different – the arrival of an original songwriter and performer of true stature. For McFarlane, it’s about her point of difference.  What sets her apart isn’t her voice, distinctive as it is, but what she has to say as, and how she says it.


Ben Flocks
Battle Mountain (self-released)
Out February 11, 2014

Melody-driven, distinctively reflective, and one of the most eclectic jazz outings of the new year, Battle Mountain stands as New York-based saxophonist Ben Flocks’ auspicious debut. In a quintet setting, Flocks traverses over a wide musical terrain with an 11-song collection of lyrical and deep-grooved originals, time-honored standards rendered in fresh arrangements, a twist on the Bob Dylan “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright” pop gem, a re-imagined, romantic version of the Buena Vista Social Club tune “Murmullo,” and sublime and true-to-the-melody renderings of two tunes from the country/folk repertoire: “Shenandoah” and “Tennessee Waltz.” Firmly grounded in the jazz tradition, Flocks also infuses his music with touches of Americana, country and blues. As such, Battle Mountain—which he says is “dedicated to the wonder and mystery of California”—promises surprises around every bend.

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Vijay Iyer
Mutations (ECM)
Out March 4, 2014

Mutations is Vijay Iyer’s first album as a leader for ECM Records, and a recording that will widen perceptions of the pianist-composer’s work. Through thematic interactivity, the interweaving of acoustic and electronic sound-textures, and some decisive improvisational interventions in notated music, Vijay Iyer has created a multi-faceted suite whose very subject is change.


Joel Harrison & Anupam Shobhakar Multiplicity
Leave The Door Open (Whirlwind)
Out March 11, 2014

Leave the Door Open is the debut album from Multiplicity, a multi-cultural, genre-defying collaboration between Guggenheim Fellow and world-renowned American guitarist Joel Harrison and North Indian-native, virtuoso classical sarodist and composer Anupam Shobhakar. The album beams with an amalgamation of styles influenced from the worlds of Indian Classical, jazz, blues and roots music, featuring a stellar cast of some of the finest contemporary creative musicians in the world: Gary Versace (piano, B-3 organ, accordion), Dan Weiss (drums and tables), Hans Glawischnig (acoustic & electric bass), as well as special guests David Binney (alto saxophone), Todd Isler (percussion), Bonnie Chakraborty and Chandrashekar Vase (vocals).

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Eric Revis
In Memory of Things Yet Seen (Clean Feed Records)
Out March 25, 2014

For bassist Eric Revis, differentiations between what is considered “mainstream” and “avant-garde” in jazz means next to nothing. With his new and astonishing CD, In Memory of Things Yet Seen, Revis puts into practice his own wider vision of jazz. The title “In Memory of Things Yet Seen” suggests from the start that the tradition and the invention of the future aren’t mutually exclusive. Joining Revis, in his third release on Clean Feed Records, are like-minded musicians who keep looking back to see more clearly what is in front of them. Namely Darius Jones, the alto sax player who understood that hip-hop, funk, soul and rock are parts of the same tree in which jazz blossoms; Bill McHenry, the saxophonist molded in Paul Motian’s projects who crossed ways with Jamie Saft, keyboardist in John Zorn’s schizophrenic world; and Chad Taylor, a fundamental part of the Chicago Underground ensembles, always trying to invent new grammars with already established ones.


Scott Feiner and Pandeiro Jazz
A View From Below (Self-released)
Out March 25, 2014

A View From Below, Scott Feiner & Pandeiro Jazz‘s fourth album, marks an exciting turning point for Feiner, as it’s the first recording solely featuring his engaging original compositions. It’s also a stylistic departure due to the unique format featuring the Brazilian pandeiro, guitar and keyboards – a surprising new take on the concept of a “power trio.” Feiner is joined by two Brazilian musicians on A View From Below: pianist Rafael Vernet (Joyce, Hermeto Pascoal, Toniñho Horta) on vintage Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer keyboards, and former New York-based guitarist Guilherme Monteiro (Ron Carter, Anat Cohen, Eliane Elias, Forró in the Dark). Feiner’s compositions tend to have simple, memorable melodies, and strong rhythmic statements that result in a sort of “signature sound.” But for sure, certain influences can be heard, such as touches of Steely Dan, elements of Charles Mingus and Weather Report and on certain tunes the trio has been likened to Medeski, Martin & Wood and John Scofield’s Überjam.

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Rachel Eckroth
Let Go (Virgo Sun Records)
Out April 15, 2014

Sometimes it takes a change of scenery to give an artist a fresh perspective. Rachel Eckroth moved from New York back home to Phoenix, Arizona in 2008 as an experienced piano player who had played in New York for years but hadn’t sung since she was 18. She emerges five years later as a mature singer/songwriter whose new album, Let Go, is a powerful look at love and relationships. Eckroth moved back to Brooklyn in 2013 and worked on the album with pianist and composer Jesse Fischer. Fischer produced and engineered most of Let Go, and also co­wrote two of the songs, “A Million Dreams” and “More Beautiful Than That.” The album comes out April 15, 2014, on Virgo Sun Records.


Shadow Theater (Sunnyside)
Out April 15, 2014

Ever since the very beginning, Tigran has seemed possessed by the idea of making the spectrum of his music as broad as possible. With Shadow Theater, the pianist has continued to pursue his enterprise of massive construction. After exploring the universe of Armenia’s fables, he’s turned to another tradition for inspiration, this time more visual than oral. His personal Shadow Theater, which gives the record its name, should be seen as an invitation to pass over to the other side of the mirror, into an imaginary, dreamlike world which owes as much to Tim Burton as it does to real shadow theatre: an art that it simple in appearance, and where silhouettes come to life.   Shadow Theater brims over with dozens of the figurines which inhabit the pianist’s head, from Madlib to Sigur Rós to Steve Reich. With this record, the young Armenian is still exploring new trails, both sonic and electronic; and it also asserts his claim as a hair-raising songwriter/singer whose voice has the timbre of fragility.


Riverside (Dave Douglas, Chet Doxas, Steve Swallow, Jim Doxas)
Riverside (Greenleaf Music)
Out April, 15 2014

The quartet, co-led by Dave Douglas, on trumpet, and Chet Doxas, on clarinet and tenor saxophone, has a rhythm section comprised of Steve Swallow on electric bass and Jim Doxas (Chet’s brother and frequent collaborator) on drums. Riverside blends a love for improvised music, bluegrass, sacred hymns and Appalachian music to create an aesthetic rooted in both Americana and jazz. The quartet aims to show their appreciation and respect for the late reedsman and composer, but rather than being just a tribute band and simply performing Jimmy Giuffre‘s repertoire, Douglas and Doxas have composed new music that highlights their inspiration. The piano-less configuration allows for harmonic freedom and gives the group the ability to emphasize the original compositions as well.

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Nels Cline Singers
Macroscope (Mack Avenue Records)
Out April 29, 2014

MACROSCOPE, the fifth album and Mack Avenue debut by Wilco lead guitarist Nels Cline‘s adventurous trio, Nels Cline Singers, provides a measure of the group’s staggering range. Captivating and continually surprising, the album finds the instrumental trio veering in one off-kilter direction only to suddenly be overwhelmed by another drastic stylistic shift, often within the space of a single tune. Serrated psychedelia becomes consumed by soulful Brasiliana, blissed-out electronica overwhelmed by garage-rock skronk. A howling Hendrix-inspired solo suddenly erupts in the middle of a slick lounge-jazz number, unleashing Cline’s inner George Benson. With the Singers, Cline has assembled a vehicle that he can steer in any and all of these deviating directions. Cline and founding Singers drummer Scott Amendola are joined by new bassist Trevor Dunn.  The trio also expands with special guests: keyboardist Yuka C. Honda (Cibo Matto, Yoko Ono), percussionists Cyro Baptista (John Zorn, Trey Anastasio) and Josh Jones (Tupac, Don Cherry), and harpist Zeena Parkins (Bjork, Fred Frith).

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Bobby Avey Quintet
Authority Melts From Me (Whirlwind Recordings)
Out May 6, 2014

Authority Melts from Me is the fascinating new album and immense artistic statement from Bobby Avey, praised by the New Yorker magazine as “A young pianist of invention and refinement.” Winner of the 2011 Thelonious Monk Competition for Composition, Avey also received the 2011 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works: Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant, which enabled Avey to travel to Haiti to record a Vodou Ceremony in the small village of Soukri and subsequently create an hour-long suite grounded in rhythms found in Haitian Vodou drumming. This compelling suite of new music, entitled Authority Melts From Me, pays homage to the Haitian Revolution and features the immense talents of Miguel Zenón, Ben Monder, Thomson Kneeland, and Jordan Perlson.

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Ideal Bread
Beating The Teens (Cuneiform Records)
Out May 13, 2014

For the first time in almost four years, the erstwhile Steve Lacy repertory band, Ideal Bread, has a new book of tunes ready to be released (again on Cuneiform Records), Beating the Teens.  This book of compositions is a departure from Ideal Bread’s typical approach of faithful adaptation of the works of Lacy. It represents a series of “recompositions.” Leader and baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton specifically chose the music that lacy recorded for the French Saravah label from 1971-1977, which was reissued as the box set entitled Scratching the Seventies/Dreams. In this large and expansive take on the tradition of small-ensemble creative music, Sinton has written arrangements that take their cues from the worlds of Anthony Braxton, Wynton Marsalis, John Cage, Iggy Pop and Mos Def, among others.


The Westerlies
Wish The Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines)
Out May 13, 2014

The Westerlies are a New York based brass quartet comprised of four friends from Seattle, Washington. Avid explorers of cross-genre territory, the Westerlies are a collectively run ensemble dedicated to the cultivation of a new brass quartet repertoire that exists in the ever-narrowing gap between American folk music, jazz, classical, and indie rock. The Westerlies have premiered over 40 original works for brass quartet since their inception in 2012, and have collaborated with Wayne Horvitz, Dave Douglas, Bill Frisell, Juilliard Dance, and Mason Jar Music to present chamber music as an organic and dynamic means of artistic expression in the 21st Century. Members of The Westerlies currently study at The Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.

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Erik Friedlander’s Bonebridge
Nighthawks (Skipstone)
Out May 20, 2014

The title Nighthawks comes from one of Edward Hopper’s most famous paintings depicting four people in a diner late at night. A lot of what Hopper evoked: the mystery and solitude, was familiar to cellist Erik Friedlander. This is the second release for Friedlander’s Bonebridge band and he continues to be fueled by the unlikely cello/slide-guitar combination. In September of 2012 New York City, and much of the Eastern US, was hit by Hurricane Sandy. It quickly became quite serious. Downtown Manhattan was plunged into darkness and without power for several days. Friedlander had set aside the time to work on Nighthawks and he quickly got used to life without power. Following the sun, he was up early and when the sun set, he worked by candlelight. “My neighborhood was eerie and dark, and there were no streetlights, traffic signals or any stores or restaurants open. About every 10 or 15 minutes or so a police car would make an appearance, driving through the black with its emergency lights spinning, but no siren. It was in this odd environment of quiet and solitude that I wrote Nighthawks.” Nighthawks featured Doug Wamble on slide guitar, Trevor Dunn on double bass and Michael Sarin on drums.

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Andy Biskin’s IBID
Act Necessary (Strudelmedia)
Out May 20, 2014

Clarinetist-composer Andy Biskin is up to his old tricks again on Act Necessary (strudelmedia), the debut release by his new quartet, Ibid. Mashing up everything from polkas and New Orleans jazz to funk and Tin Pan Alley, Biskin shoehorns sophisticated compositional elements into epic miniature tunes. His all-star quartet, featuring cornetist Kirk Knuffke, trombonist Brian Drye, and drummer Jeff Davis, handles each musical hairpin turn with infectious enthusiasm and deep insight into the music’s many subtleties.

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Joel Harrison
Mother Stump (Cuneiform Records)
Out May 27, 2014

For a long time guitarist Joel Harrison claimed he had no roots. He grew up in Washington D.C., a place whose identity and values are always in drift, a place where there is an endless mortgage to what is real. Harrison was convinced he had to go out into the world with a shovel and plant something of his own. D.C. was more of a blue-collar town when he was growing up. On any given night there might be a redneck band from Southern Maryland, a hillbilly band from nearby West Virginia, or an infusion of urban blues and Philly soul. For Harrison, it all began and ended with Danny Gatton. “If I ever had an idol, it was he. I remember driving out to his repair shop in Southern Maryland for the first time with my friend. He had a pet raccoon crawling around on his shoulder, and the shop was part mad-scientist laboratory, part boys’ club. They would sit there in the basement drinking cans of beer and drilling holes in ’50s Telecasters all day long!” Unlike most of Harrison’s CDs, the focus here is on his playing and not his writing and arranging. It’s a mixture of Luther Vandross, Buddy Miller, George Russell, a traditional spiritual, Paul Motian, Leonard Cohen, and a couple of my pieces, a nod to those formative years, with six old guitars and two old amps. “It’s a lot of history that I’m trying to make new.” Mother Stump features Glenn Patscha on keyboards, Michael Bates on double bass, Jeremy “Bean” Clemons on drums.

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Ty Citerman
Bop Kabbalah
Out May 27, 2014

Bop Kab­balah fea­tures Adam D Gold (drums), Ben Holmes (trum­pet), Ken Thom­son (bass clar­inet) and Ty Citerman (gui­tars). This quar­tet is Citerman’s take on Jewish-themed composition-meets–impro­vi­sa­tion. The band plays rhyth­mic, dynamic and lyri­cal music takes some of the lan­guage of klezmer, modal Hebrew nig­gu­nim (chants), jazz, and 21st cen­tury con­cert music and then twists and recon­tex­tu­al­izes it. It’s not really what you’d hear in most syn­a­gogues or Jewish wed­dings, but of course, those aren’t the only places to hear Jew­ish music! The group does how­ever draw on Citerman’s Jew­ish life and his years of expe­ri­ence playing sec­u­lar and reli­gious music. Citerman’s long-overdue debut record­ing is due in late May 2014 on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records (Rad­i­cal Jew­ish Cul­ture Series).

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Alon Nechushtan
Venture Bound (Enja)
Out June 10, 2014

The pianist/composer assembles an an international, all-star band for his sixth release as a leader. Donny McCaslin, John Ellis, Duane Eubanks, Chris Lightcap, Adam Cruz, Rogério Boccato, and Brahim Fribgane contribute to making Nechushtan’s farthest-reaching record to date. Alon brings his various interests under one roof on Venture Bound. Born in Tel Aviv with familial roots in Russia, Hungary, Transylvania and Uzbekistan, he employs the pluralism of jazz to bring together a wealth of musical heritage.


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Darren Barrett
Energy in Motion: The Music of the Bee Gees (dB Productions)
Out June 17, 2014

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Darren Barrett & dB Quintet
Live And Direct 2014 (dB  Productions)
Out June 17, 2014

The Westerlies Release Debut Album Featuring The Music of Wayne Horvitz

Friday, March 7th, 2014

The Westerlies

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.


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