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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Wayne Horvitz, Butch Morris & Bobby Previte Trio - Live Forever, Vol. 2, NYC, Leverkusen 1988-1989 (Self-Released, 2023)

By Stef Gijssels

Wayne Horvitz' "Live Forever Vol. 1" from 2021 is comprised of Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp, Doug Wieselman, Bobby Previte, Dave Tronzo and Dave Hofstra, a completely different ensemble and style compared to this album, a kind of super trio with Horvitz on keyboards, drum machine and electronics, the late Butch Morris on trumpet and marimba, and Bobby Previte on drums, drum machine and marimba. 

This is the trio from Horvitz's more exploratory period, with albums such as "Some Order, Long Understood" (1983), "Nine Below Zero" (1986) - the source of four tracks on this live album ("If Only", "3 Places In Suburban California", "Remind Me Of You", and "After All These Years"), and the "Todos Santos" (1988) album which also includes other musicians such as Doug Wieselman, Bill Frisell. From this album the composition "Adagio" is performed. 

For music lovers who know from his "American Bandstand/Sweeter Than The Day" ensemble or its electric twin "Zony Mash" will be surprised at the often brutal and exploratory sound of this trio despite its firm rhythmic and thematic base. Yet they do more than break boundaries. Some pieces are truly gentle and welcoming, as on the first part of the long "Adagio" on which Morris plays beautiful and contemplative trumpet over the dark organ and sparse drumming ... until it changes. Another track, such as the mid-tempo "Standing Still" is based on a typical Horvitz bluesy and playful boppish tune and chord progression - and not reflecting its title at all. The same can be said from its marimba-introed successor "Early Winters", a piece of lightfooted joy. These are musicians who are having fun while creating meaningful art in the process. Horvitz natural lyricism and deep-rooted sense of traditional jazz find a wonderfully fresh update in this more adventurous environment. 

The last two tracks "Leverkusen 1" and "Leverkusen 2", are completely improvised, and demonstrate again the trio's quality and singular approach. They play with rudimentary electronics, and integrate it in a weird yet compelling sonic environment that keeps mixing discomfort with pleasant sounds. 

The audience is present too, which gives the album its real live feeling. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp