What The Press Is Saying About Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb's new CD, Solos
Somehow, always, they resist the postmodern temptation to be too smart and too cute:
they're not trying to impress you with how much they can reference. These 14 pieces -
including a few free improvisations, a traditional, a standard, and a Wayne Shorter tune -
are mostly contemplative originals; one in particular, Ms. Holcomb's long form piece,
Before the Comet Comes, is staggeringly beautiful.
Ben Ratliff, New York Times
One of my favorite discs of 2004, Solos (Songlines), teems with solo piano pieces by
Horvitz and Robin Holcomb that breathtakingly fuse the hermetic, astringent squiggles of
Schoenberg's piano music with the lonesome sound of Shaker hymns.
Chris DeLaurenti, The Stranger (Seattle)
It's beautiful... The songs are deliberate thoughtful and patient. But if you think
this background music, repeated listening will convince you otherwise.
Carlo Wolff, Goldmine
Though you could drop this disc into your player and go about your evening routine, you
might miss out on the subtleties that make it so charming. Horvitz's playful
interpretation of Frank Perkins's Stars Fell on Alabama is sure to encourage a
smile, while Holcomb's 13-minute Before the Comet Comes or even the fractured
swing tune Up Do reveal more layers on repeated listens. Horvitz's own
improvisation skills glisten in the slow-moving Interpretation #2 and fans of
Wayne Shorter may also want to check out his take on Armageddon.
New Music Box
...tunes like "Tired," with its' bittersweet and subtly melancholic feeling,
are particularly compelling because one can feel Holcomb's more skewed approach subtly
infect Horvitz's playing, while its clearer roots in the blues distinguish it as a Horvitz
John Kelman, All About Jazz.com
Wayne Horvitz and Robin Holcomb - the legendary husband-and-wife team that has had
such an impact on extemporaneous music since the early '80s - take turns improvising on this
hour-long solo piano recording.... The music is generally sparse and contemplative, but
not *too* sparse and contemplative. It's a relaxed listen that touches on free jazz,
polytonal hymnsong, traditional jazz (there's a nice version of Stars Fell On
Alabama,) and postmodern classicism, without really being any of those.
Carl Lumma, Keyboard Magazine
Simplicity of means doesn’t mean simple-minded. Married pianists/composers Robin
Holcomb and Wayne Horvitz shared a solo-piano album, Solos (Songlines), alternating tracks,
mixing covers and originals, spontaneous improvisations and through-composed pieces, Holcomb
favoring ambiguous tonalities and chord-cluster rumblings and Horvitz leaning toward blues
and Wayne Shorter. The complementary styles make for overall unity and perfect
Boston Phoenix, December 24, 2004
...they play like composers, giving every stroke a clear intent, informed
by the tension and release of subtle harmonic and dynamic shifts.
Jon Garelick, JAZZIZ, March 2005