Trumpeter/flugelhornist Ron Horton came onto my radar—floating on a cloud, it seemed—on Andrew Hill's Dusk (Palmetto, 2000). His solo on that disc's stunningly beautiful title track drifted and roiled with a understated, dreamy poetic grace, a song within a song, a personalized expansion of Hill's theme. The approach on Subtextures is much the same.
The recording opens with an Andrew Hill composition, "Cantarnos," and includes four Horton originals; a Chopin piece; pianist Frank Kimbrough's "Rumors"; and Horton's take on an early chorale work by Messiaen.
Horton employs all-star accompaniment here: pianist Frank Kimbrough ( Quickening, Omnitone, 2004), bassist Ben Allison ( Peace Pipe, Palmetto, 2002), and drummer Matt Wilson ( Humidity, Palmetto, 2003), a group that interacts with with intimacy and imagination. Horton—on his own compositions as well as on the covers—tells stories in a beautifully oblique way that walks a fine line between free and more mainstream sounds. Melody reigns, but the trumpeter and his bandmates approach it from curves and angles, giving the music a very open feel. Open but still accessible.
"O Sacrum Convivium" (Messiaen) rides a cushion of introspection with a subtle insistence, while the title tune churns with a persuasive and gradually building, propulsive drive. "Mutability" fits into the Miles Davis mid-sixties mode with its drive and sharper edges. "Malaby," for tenor sax man Tony Malaby, holds a tint of darker "subtextures," featuring some of drummer Wilson's and bassist Allison's most interesting work on the disc, followed by Frank Kimbrough's intricately angular piano solo.
All in all, a cohesive band creating an interesting and off-center set of sounds.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.