A Friend of Jazz
Behind the Curtain with Bruce Hornsby
Words by Corinne Casella
Photo by Megan Holmes
Bruce Hornsby is one musician who is not afraid of change. His genre-bending career has run the gamut of styles from classical to bluegrass, rock, blues, soul and beyond. His 2007 release, Camp Meeting, proved to the music community that jazz was but a small hurtle for the Grammy-winning singer and pianist. Also appearing on Camp Meeting was bassist and fellow Grammy winner Christian McBride. The duo will reunite November 12th, as a part of NJPAC’s TD James Moody Jazz Festival. Hornsby joins the stage for the second installment of One on One with Christian McBride, for a night that promises stellar music and stimulating conversation.
Hornsby has a strong respect for McBride in terms of musical chops, and with good reason. McBride, a true virtuoso, has appeared on more than 300 recordings throughout his career, picking up four Grammy wins along the way. “Christian is one of the greatest musicians I know, and one of the greatest guys I know,” stated Hornsby. “He has perfect pitch, killer time, and a big sound. He can follow and lead you anywhere. Who wouldn’t want to work with him?”
Although having worked together in the past, the twosome are able to come to the performance with a fresh perspective, rather then an evolution of the past. “We haven’t played much together in the last few years, so it hasn’t evolved at all. But my music has evolved, and I will be dealing with that evolution, or at least one aspect of it, during our time together,” Hornsby remarked.
Although slated as a jazz event, the night for Hornsby at least will be one of new influences and directions. “This evening, for me, won’t really be about jazz per se, but more about new influences that have led me to new areas compositionally in the last several years. But I’m a friend of jazz. I know the language a bit, and it can surface at any time.” One can only hope that the night leads into at least one rendition of the many incendiary originals and covers from the pair’s previous album.
All attendees of Thursday’s event are in for a rare treat as these power players invite the audience to share in their collective experience and inventive sound. “I want to allow the audience into my creative process, give them a window into my creative world at this time, play some joyful music with my old friend, and have some laughs.” This show is a must for any music lover who craves a peek behind the artistic curtain.
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