First Program in Standard Time

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LABELS: New World/Counter Currents
WORKS: First Program in Standard Time
PERFORMER: The New York Composers Orchestra


The New York Composers Orchestra is the brainchild of pianist Wayne Horvitz. Like so many of the musicians associated with the music scene in Manhattan’s East Village (today’s equivalent of 52nd Street), he refuses to be bound by category. He has worked successfully in free jazz (with Butch Morris), was responsible for the acclaimed Sonny Clark Memorial Album that visited hard bop, was a lynch-pin in John Zorn’s iconoclastic group Naked City and his own group The President has been praised even in the pages of the New York Times. NYCO, a prodigiously talented set of musicians associated with the East Village, is an ideal conduit for arrangements by characters as diverse as Anthony Braxton, Bobby Previte, Horvitz’s wife Robin Holcomb and Horvitz himself. Both range and expression are impressive, from Braxton’s fractured ’92+(30, 32, 139)+(108c, 108d)’ to Horvitz’s Ellington-like use of key instrumentalists in his own ‘Paper Money’. Stuart Nicholson