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Blue Cranes w/ Wayne Horvitz

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Jack London Revue
529 SW 4th Ave.

Dec. 7, 2018, 9 p.m.

The Jack London Revue presents an evening of cutting-edge jazz with Blue Cranes, a perennial key player in Portland's creative music scene — this time joined by composer/pianist/electronic musician Wayne Horvitz.

Blue Cranes
Since their formation in 2007, Blue Cranes have become a key player in the Portland, Oregon creative music/DIY scene and one of the most exciting groups to keep tabs on in the Northwest. They've developed a singular musical voice grounded in melody and explosive improvisations--marking off their unique microcosmic territory in post-jazz circles.

The members of the quintet--Reed Wallsmith on alto saxophone, Joe Cunningham on tenor saxophone, Rebecca Sanborn on keyboards, Jon Shaw on bass, and Ji Tanzer on drums--bring a unique array of experiences to their group-centered aesthetic, including work with AU, The Decemberists, Laura Veirs, Wayne Horvitz, Rebecca Gates, Laura Gibson, Ethan Rose, Pete Krebs, Black Prairie, and Portland Cello Project.

In June 2013, the band took an evolutionary step forward with the release of Swim, their fourth full-length album, on the Washington, D.C.-based Cuneiform Records. Swim is a departure from Blue Cranes' previous, and in some ways simpler, albums. Steered dutifully by producer Nate Query of The Decemberists, it is a window into the sometimes messy emotional space of a group struggling with and celebrating the ephemeralness of life. This work is the culmination of several between-album projects, including a 30-day crowd-sourced Amtrak train tour in 2011, and a seven day group composition retreat, supported in part by a grant from Portland's Regional Arts and Culture Council. However, the heart of Swim lies in indelibly profound life events--the passing away of two dear friends, a serious injury, two weddings, and the birth of a child--events at tragic and uplifting extremes, both cathartic and celebratory.

Wayne Horvitz / Snowghost Sessions
In the spring of 2015 Wayne Horvitz, with long time collaborators Eric Eagle (drums) and Geoff Harper (bass), spent a week in residence at Snowghost Studios in Whitefish, Montana. Snowghost is a state of the art 21st century recording studio with great acoustic spaces, and a meticulously maintained Steinway grand piano. Owner and engineer Brett Allen engineered the sessions, and the sessions were produced by Mr. Eagle and Mr. Horvitz.

“I’ve never felt so free of expectations in the recording studio in my life” says Mr. Horvitz. “The sessions were relaxed, creative, and without a specific goal. We didn’t set out to make a record, we just set out to enjoy the process. I brought in a pile of tunes and sketches, and started making music. The only thing I knew was, I wanted to work with Eric and Geoff, and I wanted find an organic marriage between the idea of a piano trio, and some ideas I’d been exploring with amplified and processed piano.”

In 2016 Mr. Eagle and Mr. Horvitz began editing and mixing at “Skoor Sound” in Seattle. Using the same relaxed approach as the sessions, the mixes were done over a 9-month period.

Most tracks are live, including the processing, with minimal overdubs. A few tracks involve multiple keyboards.