The perpetually busy pianist, composer, arranger, educator and bandleader Wayne Horvitz brought his recently formed Snowghost Trio to the KNKX studios for a live performance. Added to his piano and the bass-and-drums combo of Geoff Harper and Eric Eagle, Sarah Shoenbeck brought her bassoon to the proceedings for a wonderful selection of music, both beautiful and strange.
Shoenbeck has joined Horvitz recently for a series of duet performances, grown out of their work together over the past two decades. The Gravitas Quartet includes cornet player Ron Miles and cellist Peggy Lee, and also collaborated with Horvitz's project "Sweeter Than The Day" on the recent album "Some Places Are Forever Afternoon," inspired by the work of poet Richard Hugo.
Together, the quartet combines impressive technique, unique textural tones and a pure expression of melody. Mostly drawn from the "Snowghost Sessions" album, it's beautiful music that sounds unlike anything you've heard before.
Echoes of the artistic isolation the trio experienced recording at Snowghost Studios in Whitefish, Montana, can be heard, while Shoenbeck's bassoon adds warmth and quirky character. Each player listening with the same intensity of their playing, resulting in moments of intimate musical conversation.
These are musicians unencumbered by thoughts of genre expectations, though fans of classically inspired chamber jazz will find plenty to love in this quartet. There are layers of interweaving ideas of the highest level happening here, but the magic may be in simply listening and letting the music take you where it will.