Bill Horvitz, guitar; Steve Adams, reeds; Joe Sabella, drums
Bill Horvitz stretches the boundaries of guitar music and points it in new and exciting directions. Horvitz fuses traditional and extended techniques in a most inventive way; his strikingly personal instrumental vision endows the music with an infinite array of tonal color. His long and varied experience in the realms of jazz, rock, classical, folk, and new music have resulted in an entirely original compositional voice–a voice that is forceful and innovative, yet always intelligently accessible.
Since 1974, Horvitz has led both large and small ensembles. Between 1978 and 1988, he lived and worked in New York City, where he explored and extended the sonic range of the guitar in a wide variety of settings. He has collaborated with many composers and improvisors, notably Butch Morris, J.A. Deane, Joseph Sabella, Elliott Sharp, John Zorn, Bobby Previte, Shelley Hirsch, Denman Maroney, Wayne Horvitz, Herb Robertson, Roy Campbell, Richard Dworkin, George Cartwright, Phillip Johnston, Dave Sewelson, Arthur Blythe, Myra Melford, George Lewis, Bill Laswell, Eugene Chadbourne, Frank London, and Walter Thompson.
He currently leads the Bill Horvitz Band featuring Steve Adams on woodwinds and Harris Eisenstadt on drums. He also works with the improvising quartet Out by Five, the Harris Eisenstadt Ahimsa Orchestra, and Moe Staino’s Moekestra! Horvitz collaborates frequently with poets and other writers, combining electric and acoustic music with spoken word. He recently composed the music for the theater piece Circus Proboscis: A Sneeze of Freaks and the films DamNaged and Gravity Hill and has created music for dance and art installation. He has also composed and performed music for solo acoustic guitar that will be recorded in 2004.
What the critics say:
“Horvitz infuses his jazz compositions with the tunefulness and economy of rock, ‘60s R&B;, and calypso, synthesizing the influences of Sonny Sharrock, early 70s McLaughlin, Derek Bailey, and a touch of Robert Fripp, Roger McGuinn and Yardbirds-era Jimmy Page into his own sizzling, concise style. . . . a rare balance between free jazz and (uncompromised) accessibility.”
MARK KERESMAN–EXPRESS, Berkeley, CA
“. . . the band embodies an earthy, sweaty aura with chops and humor to match.”
T. SEDLAK, OPTION MAGAZINE
“. . .powerful and unpredictable originals deliver a sound-spattered session rife with skewed rhythmic dynamics, spontaneous surprises, and boundary-pushing improvisations. . .tasteful, sophisticated, yet urgent approach to melody, harmony, and rhythm. Dust Devil whirls with exciting musical blends to satisfy the most adventurous listener.”
NANCY ANN LEE, JAZZ TIMES
“ . . . Horvitz has been working on the rugged fringes of guitar culture. . . making music that benefits from the confusing embarrassment of riches facing any open-minded modern jazz player. . . antic, angular themes to wide open spaces . . . kinetically charged.”
JOSEF WOODARD, JAZZIZ MAGAZINE
“funky bite. . .strong rapport. . . joyous artistry. . . brooding lyricism. . .dramatic suspense. This excellent session showcases funk fusion stripped to its dynamic essence. Highly recommended.”
DAVID LEWIS, CADENCE MAGAZINE
“An intriguing composer and a pliant melodicist. While his music might be free jazz, it’s not free form; it’s exceptionally well organized . . . each tune has a personality and life of its own.”
CHRIS KELSEY–JAZZ NOW, Oakland, CA
“A major innovator in guitar music . . . a Zen master’s intuitive certainty . . . few musicians can make abstract music this gorgeous.”
ALEX VARTY–GEORGIA STRAIGHT, Vancouver, BC
“A superb demonstration of structure and expression
. . . a model for postminimal improvisation.”
KYLE GANN–VILLAGE VOICE, NYC
“A mix of melody, fracture, and structure . . . an all-star big band.”
JON PARELES–NEW YORK TIMES (The Bill Horvitz Ensemble)