Pianist Glenn Horiuchi's quartet eagerly dwells in the nooks and crannies of impromptu free jazz. On his new recording Fair Play (recorded in 1994), punchy piano clusters lead without warning to quotations of showtunes or circus melodies, only to melt back into the seething abyss of free improvisation. Tuba player William Roper adds a cheeky ironic sense of humor to the mix, while percussionist Jeanette Wrate constantly peppers it with brilliant colors found outside the traditional drum set. Saxophonist Francis Wong seems more content to explore the dimensions of lyrical melodicism, though he too breaks out into the open at times.
All four players make liberal use of vocal snippets ranging from existential questions like "Why do the angels cry?" to facts-of-life reflections on working with the San Diego Water Utilities Department: "Ten feet under the ground, just me and my drill! So cool, so peaceful!" As you might imagine, it's an odd mixture: at times bordering on random. But even in its heaviest moments of free interplay, Horiuchi's unit never loses its sense of humor.
Track Listing: Fair Play; Angel Tears; Wet Tap; Manzanar Voices - Part II.
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!