All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

252

Ron Horton: Subtextures

By

Sign in to view read count
On Subtextures, Ron Horton's sophomore release as a leader, the trumpeter/fluegelhornist continues his striking, impressionistic approach of synthesizing the free-ranging, out sounds of modernity with the softer, melodic palette of chamber music, a vision he unveiled to the jazz world's delight on 1999's Genius Envy (OmniTone).

Horton's racked up some excellent experience over the course of his nearly 30-year career, playing with legendary composer/pianist Andrew Hill, as well as in the Jazz Composers Collective, a vital New York organization that also boasts Mr. Medicine Wheel himself, bassist Ben Allison, and pianist Frank Kimbrough, both of whom starred on Genius Envy and return to shine on Subtextures ; also on board is drummer Matt Wilson, a vocal fan of Horton's '99 debut.

From the fugal flourishes that imbue the album, not to mention the lofty, horizon-scanning lines of his horn, one is readily reminded of Miles Davis and Chet Baker, two of Horton's admitted muses — especially Miles, from whom Horton has gained a wonderful, Birth of the Cool -style bouquet of tonal colors. This technique is plied to breathtaking effect on tracks like the title cut and the bittersweet "Ruminations," as well as on ambitious, delicate versions of Messiaen's "O Sacrum Convivium" and Chopin's "Etude."

But Horton isn't afraid to rock out: the bop standout "Malaby," an inspired tribute to saxophonist Tony Malaby, blasts off with an impossibly complex, dizzy chart before dropping into a solo passage by Allison, which is then overtaken by a growling, swishing conversation between Horton and Wilson, only to collapse into Kimbrough's desolate ponderings before exploding back into the tune's initial riffing. Another winner, the stuttering improv "Mutability," is highlighted by Horton's aggressive, bluesy blasts and Wilson's machine-gun press rolls.

Like that of Malaby, Andrew Hill, Miles, and Herbie Nichols (Horton, Kimbrough, and Allison are sometime members of the Herbie Nichols Project, formed to play unpublished Nichols tunes), the complicated but frequently melodic music on Subtextures blurs the boundaries between the straight-ahead and the avant-garde. And it does so with confident facility. Recommended.

Track Listing: Cantarnos, Malaby, Ruminations, Subtextures, O Sacrum Convivium, Rumors, Mutability, Etude

Personnel: Ron Horton--trumpet and flugelhorn; Frank Kimbrough--piano; Ben Allison--bass; Matt Wilson--drums

Title: Subtextures | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Bring It On

Bring It On

Ron Horton
Everything In A Dream

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
It's A Gadget World...

It's A Gadget World...

Abeat Records
2009

buy
Everything In A Dream

Everything In A Dream

Fresh Sound New Talent
2006

buy
Subtextures

Subtextures

Fresh Sound New Talent
2004

buy

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Serious Play" CD/LP/Track Review Serious Play
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik" CD/LP/Track Review Mikrojazz!: Neue Expressionistische Musik
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 4, 2017
Read "For Gyumri" CD/LP/Track Review For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "A Woman's Journey" CD/LP/Track Review A Woman's Journey
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 28, 2018
Read "Follow Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017