220

Ron Horton: Genius Envy

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz fans have a reason to celebrate with the advent of the new OmniTone jazz label. Coinciding with Frank Kimbrough and Joe Locke’s superb Saturn’s Child (See Nov ’99 AAJ reviews) we have Genius Envy which showcases the monstrous talents of trumpeter/composer Ron Horton. Here, Horton along with fellow Jazz Composers Collective artists, bassist Ben Allison and pianist Frank Kimbrough join forces with the estimable soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom. Horton is touted as a musician’s musician emanating from his fine work as a top-flight session musician and his integral involvement with the JCC. On Genius Envy Horton shines as a formidable composer, arranger and leader while acting as a catalyst of sorts for what is most assuredly a “group” effort. The beat on the street, especially in New York City was the anticipation of Horton’s debut effort for OmniTone as we also get a glimpse of rising stars, tenor saxophonist John McKenna and drummer Rich Rosenzweig.

The opener, “Carla Blake” opens the door for Horton’s – right of passage – as a leader. On this piece Horton displays his intelligence and compositional savvy via this refreshing yet probing arrangement enhanced by the melodically tinged and quite soulful tenor work of solo artist and session musician, John McKenna. On “Long-Term Memories”, bassist Ben Allison establishes the driving pulse as Horton slips into some smooth, sharp soloing within the mid to upper registers as sprightly choruses from McKenna and Horton emphasize the quirky yet appealing melody. “For Thomas Chapin” commences as a moving almost solemn ballad featuring Ms Bloom’s gorgeous utilization of vibrato integrated with passionate, deeply moving articulations. All in all, a heartfelt tribute to the late and sorely missed jazz saxophonist-composer. Horton and Ms Bloom are the “impressionist” painters on the composition titled, “Stark Winter’s Day” as they captures vivid images of a pastoral setting which could be somewhere in the Northeast on a cloudy, calm and cold day. Pianist Frank Kimbrough adds verve and elegance on Horton’s composition titled, “Embrace” while Horton’s “Genius Envy” is frantic, intentionally unsettling as McKenna, Bloom and Horton trade darting lines via alternating solos and rich thematic statements supplemented by furious unison runs with the force and fury of a big band. “Happy and Out of it (on the Beach)” lies somewhere between hard funk – Horace Silver style bop and affable or lighthearted Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass pop as the band occasionally veer off center which amplifies the fun and excitement.

Besides Horton’s technical accomplishments as a soloist, Genius Envy serves as a good indicator of this man’s multifaceted approach as a leader and composer. Not difficult to discern why Horton is highly respected within jazz circles. Genius Envy is mood evoking, poetic, cool, spirited and sure to capture the hearts of many jazz aficionados. Fortunately, jazz fans are now afforded the opportunity to hear the individual talents of the mighty conglomerate known as theJazz Composers Collective. Highly recommended...

Personnel:

Ron Horton; Composer, Trumpet & Flugelhorn: Jane Ira Bloom; Soprano Saxophone: John McKenna; Tenor Saxophone: Frank Kimbrough; Piano: Ben Allison; Bass: Rich Rosenzweig; Drums.

OmniTone Website: www.OmniTone.com

| Record Label: OmniTone | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Of Earth And Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Of Earth And Sky
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "City Colors" CD/LP/Track Review City Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 28, 2016
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Lowdown Hoedown" CD/LP/Track Review Lowdown Hoedown
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Sant’Anna Arresi, 2004
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "Left" CD/LP/Track Review Left
by John Sharpe
Published: November 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!