Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ron Horton - Everything in a Dream (FSNT, 2006)

Despite his prodigious talent, Ron Horton seems to slip between the cracks amongst modern trumpeters. Horton's deep buttery tone on both trumpet and flugelhorn and fleet improvisational skill have anchored the great large and small ensembles of Andrew Hill during the late 1990’s, and have been featured on several projects associated with the Jazz Composers Collective. On this album, he leads a mid sized ensemble featuring downtown avant-bop saxophonist Tony Malaby. The music is quite diverse within the classic hard bop framework with original compositions by Horton along with covers of contemporary classical music and compositions by Andrew Hill, all of which give ample space for collective and solo improvisations be members of the band.

Horton is also influenced by the music of the music of Spain and Portugal, and he takes a wonderfully paced solo on "Lua Cheia Sobre Lisboa" which shows off his sweet and smooth tone. "Did it, Did it, Did it" takes things into a little more abstract territory with a fractured opening giving way to a fleet group improvisation and a nice bass solo by Masa Kamaguchi. Also a little more adventurous is the opening "Yellow Violet" by his former boss, Andrew Hill. "Grovellin'" is Horton's own ode to the scuffling jazz musician trying to make ends meet after moving to the big city. This is a very nice CD, and another winner for the Fresh Sound New Talent label which seems to be picking up where the major labels have dropped the ball in providing an outlet for the creativity of the most talented modern mainstream jazz musicians.

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