We’ve written about the Seattle-born/NYC-based brass quartet The Westerlies before in our first ever video premiere feature. Now we have a spotlight on their May release of Wayne Horvitz’ music – Wish the Children Would Come On Home, for which their Official CD Release Party is Friday, August 8 at the Royal Room.
So, why Wayne Horvitz? (Why NOT Wayne Horvitz is really a better question, but…) Andy, Willem, Zubin, and Riley are long acquainted with Wayne as a teacher, mentor, and friend from their growing up in Seattle, but Horvitz actually approached THEM about doing the album in early 2013. He recognizes all of the musicians as “technically excellent, theoretically sophisticated, mature beyond their years, astute, perceptive, and self-aware.”
Jazzy sonorities and harmonies combined with a composed structure give this album that quality of “it has a little something for everyone” – the Westerlies chose a broad range of Horvitz’ music to arrange and record, including jazz tunes, film music, and classical chamber pieces. Now, none of these pieces were originally composed for brass, so the Westerlies had the extra task of doing the arrangements. Horvitz praises the fact that “they sound like a band, not a brass ensemble” despite “the way they have manufactured a kind of limitation, simply by creating a quartet with 2 trumpets and 2 trombones. Within all the bounty of their collective backgrounds, they have created a band that is a real hassle! No rhythm sections, no chordal instruments, and music that is sometimes fiendishly difficult.” I couldn’t agree more. The textures and sounds created sound like much more than the sum of its parts (which are all great!).
The music on this album ranges from sultry (Please Keep That Train Away From My Door), lulling (Waltz from Woman of Tokyo), bombastic (The Band With Muddy), nostalgic (Triads totally has a Renaissance quality to my ears), goofy/playful (The Barbershop), free and experimental (Interludes), and smoky (The Store, The Campfire).
Keep an ear out for Andy, Willem, Zubin, and Riley’s voices on the Second Inversion stream! As we incorporate this disc into our programming, you’re likely to hear one of them introduce the tracks on this album. In the meantime, mark your calendar for the show nearest you on their WA, OR, and CA tour.
You can purchase Wish The Children Would Come On Home at The Westerlies’ Store.