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The Long Walk

 

The Bill Horvitz
Expanded Band

Big Door Prize Music 212

Audio Samples

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Press Reviews

   

Editors' Picks DOWNBEAT Magazine May, 2013
The Bill Horvitz Expanded Band, The Long Walk BY FRANK ALKYER

The Long Walk is composer-guitarist Bill Horvitz’s tribute to his brother Philip, a dramatic artist who passed away suddenly from heart failure in 2005. It’s taken eight years to get the music out on record because The Long Walk is the kind of far-reaching tribute one artist would create to honor another artist. Not just simple or loving or introspective (though it contains elements of all of those), The Long Walk is big, boisterous, complex, bold and ultimately gorgeous. The leader employs his Expanded Band — a 17-piece powerhouse that features horns, strings and Horvitz’s searing electric guitar — and sweats every detail to take you on a ride through the connection he felt to his brother. Each movement in this suite of eight songs explores a different facet of Philip’s life. “Astor Place” is a nod to the famed area of New York City where the two would meet for coffee and conversations about life, family and art. “Funk Side Story” honors his brother’s love of musicals and has an immensely creative, catchy connection to the music of West Side Story. “Where Did The Monkey Go?” was the first movement that Horvitz wrote. It opened the floodgates for the rest of the music here and has a galloping, spaghetti western flavor that sits just right in the program. But Horvitz saves the best for last, writing the title track to express the grief felt upon losing a loved one. With rich strings and beautiful horns (including a heart-breaking solo by Michael Cook on oboe), it’s a masterpiece of orchestration and storytelling, the perfect finale to a wondrous musical eulogy.

http://www.downbeat.com/defaultl.asp?sect=reviews

Jazz Review: The Bill Horvitz Expanded Band's The Long Walk (5-24-13)

The California Report KQED Radio by ANDREW GILBERT

    Many musicians have turned to music as solace after the loss of a loved one. For Sonoma-based guitarist/composer Bill Horvitz, the 2005 death of his younger brother led to “The Long Walk,” an orchestral suite as emotionally vibrant, entertaining and multifarious as the late Philip Horvitz.

   Bill Horvitz is probably best known as a guitarist who loves to push boundaries, an improviser who artfully melds traditional and extended techniques to coax a vast array of sounds and textures out of his instrument. Starting in New York’s Downtown scene in the 1980s, and in the Bay Area in recent decades, he’s led a series of bands featuring some of jazz’s most adventurous improvisers. The unexpected death of his beloved 44-year-old brother, a New York actor, director, playwright and choreographer, sparked a creative odyssey as he painstakingly composed and revamped a series of tunes inspired by Philip’s larger?than?life persona.

Despite the film noir title, “The Long Walk” is anything but dark and brooding. A suite of eight tunes that Horvitz composed and arranged for his 17-piece Expanded Band, the music is rife with incident and drama, playful, nakedly emotional, and layered with thick, fast-moving harmonies. The CD’s liner notes set up each piece with a story about Philip, though the music often speaks clearly for itself, like on the kinetic, insistently pirouetting theme “Do You Want to Dance?”

   About halfway through the album, just when it starts to feel like a rollicking wake without any weeping, Horvitz lets the grief break through. But rather than railing in anger, he meditates upon the mystery of his brother’s life in “Where Did the Monkey Go?” which was inspired by the discovery of an undeveloped roll of film in Philip’s apartment. Horvitz couldn’t identify any of the people in the snapshots, and the last photo captured Philip with a monkey doll on his shoulder. The haunting tune feels something like the concluding theme from an Ennio Morrocone score. With brass, woodwinds, strings and jazz rhythm section all conducted by Oakland-based composer Omid Zoufonoun, Horvitz’s Expanded Band references jazz’s orchestral tradition, but draws on rock, folk and classical music too. Much of the music is fully scored, though he leaves sufficient space for his prodigious cast of improvisers, including his brother, Seattle pianist Wayne Horvitz, trumpeter Darren Johnston, and ROVA saxophonist Steve Adams. My favorite piece is “Child Star,” an Aaron Copeland-esque tune that affectionately captures the antic energy and self assurance of a stage struck boy. But the payoff comes after the romp, as the band peels away, leaving Shirley Hunt’s cello lament.

   Horvitz premiered “The Long Walk” in 2006, and over the years he’s continued to revamp, expand, and edit the music. The album documents the suite’s latest incarnation, and he concludes it with the title track, which is also his most recent addition. Set in motion by a devastating loss, “The Long Walk” isn’t about soldiering through hard times. Rather, Horvitz laments that his brother is no longer here to march in the passing parade.

Link to Review and Audio

http://www.californiareport.org/archive/R201305241630/d

 

The Bill Horvitz Expanded Band is a 17-piece conducted ensemble that plays original works drawing on jazz, funk, folk, and new-music. The band includes a stellar line up of some of the Bay Area's (and beyond) finest musicians. The compositions are highly composed and arranged and also contain sections of conducted improvisation, at which point conductor Omid Zoufonoun spontaneously brings instruments in and out to create solos and small groups and then return to the scored arrangement. Omid is a highly skilled conductor and musician and brings a strongly intuitive and musical sense of improvisation to the ensemble.


The Long Walk
is Sonoma County musician/composer Bill Horvitz’s moving and inspiring tribute to his late brother Philip, an inspired writer, director, actor, dancer, and choreographer. Explains Horvitz, “Philip was a man who deeply loved many kinds of music. He was generous and kind, playful and curious, dramatic and impassioned. He had the largest group of extremely close friends of anyone I've ever known.” Composed after Philip passed away suddenly of heart failure on March 30, 2005, The Long Walk incorporates the same characteristics—playfulness, curiosity, generosity of spirit—that defined Philip during his short but extraordinary life.

“About a year after Philip died,” says Horvitz, “I began hearing the beginnings of new compositions that felt in some way related to him. I spent the next many months composing the music and imagining the group of players I would like to have perform. As I wrote, I realized that I wanted a fairly large ensemble that included instruments from jazz as well as some more often found in chamber groups. The resulting pieces are a mix of folk, jazz, funk, and new-music works that have come out of the enormous range of emotions I've felt since Philip’s death, and though they are not ‘his music,’ they have been influenced by him nonetheless. “

Many of the pieces that comprise The Long Walk have been performed in the Bay Area and in New York City to extremely enthusiastic audiences. The program has a universal appeal, beautifully illustrating how the loss of someone very close can be turned into a work of healing, acceptance, and love.

Personnel:

Omid Zoufonoun - conductor
Kyle Bruckman - oboe/English horn
Aram Shelton - clarinet/ bass clarinet
Steve Adams - alto saxophone /flute
Cory Wright - tenor saxophone
Jon Raskin - baritone saxophone
Michael Cooke - bassoon
George Hines - French horn
Hal Forman - trumpet
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Ned Haran - trombone
Nathan Riebli - tuba
Wayne Horvitz - piano
Sarah Jo Zaharako - violin
Shirley Hunt - cello
Dan Seamans - bass
Vijay Anderson - drums
Bill Horvitz - guitar/composer

Recorded and mixed at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA
Jesse Nichols: engineer
Post Production/Editing Kory Kruckenberg, vu Recording, Seattle WA
Mastered by Mike Monseur at Bias Studios, Springfield, VA

Tracks and Audio Samples:

 

 

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Press Reviews

Editors' Picks DOWNBEAT Magazine May, 2013
The Bill Horvitz Expanded Band, The Long Walk BY FRANK ALKYER

The Long Walk is composer-guitarist Bill Horvitz’s tribute to his brother Philip, a dramatic artist who passed away suddenly from heart failure in 2005. It’s taken eight years to get the music out on record because The Long Walk is the kind of far-reaching tribute one artist would create to honor another artist. Not just simple or loving or introspective (though it contains elements of all of those), The Long Walk is big, boisterous, complex, bold and ultimately gorgeous. The leader employs his Expanded Band — a 17-piece powerhouse that features horns, strings and Horvitz’s searing electric guitar — and sweats every detail to take you on a ride through the connection he felt to his brother. Each movement in this suite of eight songs explores a different facet of Philip’s life. “Astor Place” is a nod to the famed area of New York City where the two would meet for coffee and conversations about life, family and art. “Funk Side Story” honors his brother’s love of musicals and has an immensely creative, catchy connection to the music of West Side Story. “Where Did The Monkey Go?” was the first movement that Horvitz wrote. It opened the floodgates for the rest of the music here and has a galloping, spaghetti western flavor that sits just right in the program. But Horvitz saves the best for last, writing the title track to express the grief felt upon losing a loved one. With rich strings and beautiful horns (including a heart-breaking solo by Michael Cook on oboe), it’s a masterpiece of orchestration and storytelling, the perfect finale to a wondrous musical eulogy.

http://www.downbeat.com/defaultl.asp?sect=reviews

Jazz Review: The Bill Horvitz Expanded Band's 'The Long Walk'

The California Report KQED Radio by Andrew Gilbert

    Many musicians have turned to music as solace after the loss of a loved one. For Sonoma-based guitarist/composer Bill Horvitz, the 2005 death of his younger brother led to “The Long Walk,” an orchestral suite as emotionally vibrant, entertaining and multifarious as the late Philip Horvitz.

   Bill Horvitz is probably best known as a guitarist who loves to push boundaries, an improviser who artfully melds traditional and extended techniques to coax a vast array of sounds and textures out of his instrument. Starting in New York’s Downtown scene in the 1980s, and in the Bay Area in recent decades, he’s led a series of bands featuring some of jazz’s most adventurous improvisers. The unexpected death of his beloved 44-year-old brother, a New York actor, director, playwright and choreographer, sparked a creative odyssey as he painstakingly composed and revamped a series of tunes inspired by Philip’s larger?than?life persona.

Despite the film noir title, “The Long Walk” is anything but dark and brooding. A suite of eight tunes that Horvitz composed and arranged for his 17-piece Expanded Band, the music is rife with incident and drama, playful, nakedly emotional, and layered with thick, fast-moving harmonies. The CD’s liner notes set up each piece with a story about Philip, though the music often speaks clearly for itself, like on the kinetic, insistently pirouetting theme “Do You Want to Dance?”

   About halfway through the album, just when it starts to feel like a rollicking wake without any weeping, Horvitz lets the grief break through. But rather than railing in anger, he meditates upon the mystery of his brother’s life in “Where Did the Monkey Go?” which was inspired by the discovery of an undeveloped roll of film in Philip’s apartment. Horvitz couldn’t identify any of the people in the snapshots, and the last photo captured Philip with a monkey doll on his shoulder. The haunting tune feels something like the concluding theme from an Ennio Morrocone score. With brass, woodwinds, strings and jazz rhythm section all conducted by Oakland-based composer Omid Zoufonoun, Horvitz’s Expanded Band references jazz’s orchestral tradition, but draws on rock, folk and classical music too. Much of the music is fully scored, though he leaves sufficient space for his prodigious cast of improvisers, including his brother, Seattle pianist Wayne Horvitz, trumpeter Darren Johnston, and ROVA saxophonist Steve Adams. My favorite piece is “Child Star,” an Aaron Copeland-esque tune that affectionately captures the antic energy and self assurance of a stage struck boy. But the payoff comes after the romp, as the band peels away, leaving Shirley Hunt’s cello lament.

   Horvitz premiered “The Long Walk” in 2006, and over the years he’s continued to revamp, expand, and edit the music. The album documents the suite’s latest incarnation, and he concludes it with the title track, which is also his most recent addition. Set in motion by a devastating loss, “The Long Walk” isn’t about soldiering through hard times. Rather, Horvitz laments that his brother is no longer here to march in the passing parade.