Hidden Heights: Brian Horton at HR-57

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
Organic, determined, and thoroughly modern, the Brian Horton quartet plays straight from the interior of their musical consciousness.
One of the most enjoyable and distinguishing aspects of jazz is its capacity to shift one night to the next, one venue to another, from moment to moment. Different groupings of musicians performing the same compositions, the same players performing as trios or quartets, or with one member the leader a given night, another the following can produce drastically different results. Every jazz fan knows this, which is why I followed saxophonist Brian Horton, pianist Kelvin Sholar, and bassist Ameen Saleem, to HR-57 after their performance with Winard Harper the night before at the Kennedy Center's Jazz Club.

In the uninhibited space of HR-57's unfinished walls, candle-light, and eclectic furniture, Horton and his band mates were able to fully—and most importantly—freely delve into their musical concepts. Performing as a quartet under the leadership of Horton, the three young musicians, joined by distinctive drummer Jaimeo Brown, proved all over again why jazz never ceases to grow.

Blasting away from HR-57's stripped down stage, the four leapt from one idea to the next with the fiery intent of impassioned explorers, and while not every one of their departures identified new musical territory, the results were nonetheless exhilarating simply because of the remarkable level of dedication, aspiration, and skill exhibited.

Without calling any titles, Horton led the group through a steady flow of pieces that blurred the lines between standards, originals, and tunes simply composed on the spot. Guided by Brown's modern, steel-hard grooves, and working off of Sholar's striking blues-grounded piano, Horton delivered one extended, intricate, and deeply searching solo after another. At his best on soprano, and clearly influenced by Coltrane's sound and direction, Horton revealed a rare dedication to plumb the full depths of his music and his self. In fact, the Horton quartet as a whole seems defined by this total lack of pretension. Allowing themselves to be fully exposed at all times, the band strained to surpass their own musical limits, urging each other on at every musical turn toward ever greater vistas.

Organic, determined, and thoroughly modern, the Brian Horton quartet plays straight from the interior of their musical consciousness. By risking failure in this way, the group immerses their audience in a constantly expanding, constantly striving, and distinctly enlivening experience.

Visit HR-57 on the web at www.hr57.org .


More Articles

Read Panama Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Panama Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Holston
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017

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!

Buy it!