released September 14, 2013
Brian Horton, Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Flute
Ernest Turner, Piano • Ameen Saleem, Bass • Kobie Watkins, Drums
Produced, Written and Arranged by Brian Horton
©Ⓟ 2013 DOC8MUSIC, BMI unless otherwise note herein
* By Victor Young & John M. Elliott
Sony/ATV Harmony MPL Music Publishing
** By Jay Livingston & Ray Evans Sony/ATV Harmony
Photo and Album Art by Chris Charles, Creative Silence Inc.
Engineered, Mixed and Mastered by Jason Richmond
Recorded May 6th and 7th, 2013 at The Fidelitorium, Kernersville, NC
BRIAN HORTON • BRAND NEW DAY LINER NOTES
This record rightly could have been called a homegoing celebration. As a matter of fact, that notion would have been worked into the album title more specifically were it not for some small concern about reception and for an insistence that the thrust of the project not be misinterpreted. You see, a homegoing, where some of us come from, is a gloriously intimate and intimidating thing. It is a celebration of a beautiful life well lived and of lives uplifted by hopeful example. These are people who are hardheaded and heavyhanded and thickskinned and bighearted and who just don’t know how to let a love die. Prayerfully so, intelligently so.
The priority arises — especially for the conscientious artist — to honor this tradition of dignity and gratitude in such a way as to accurately convey its grace, homing in on a particular joy across a difficult spiritual geography. For Brand New Day Brian Horton has assembled an outstanding quartet — carefully comprised of Ameen Saleem (bass), Ernest Turner (piano), and Kobie Watkins (drums) — who undertake this mission with a bright discipline. They communicate a sure depth of experience — human, musical — through a series of compositions that, while mechanically rich, allow them room to breathe and to stretch out respectively inside the ideas. And the original family system has been suddenly refreshed.
Horton is renowned as a musician’s composer. He has for years enjoyed a well-earned salute and respectful head nods from peers who admire his theoretically eloquent writing and the smart choices that he executes as an arranger of certain acclaim. And as a seasoned performer he is still complimented with surprising frequency on his adeptness with the sort of blues-based vocabulary that discerning listeners find most approachable — most organic — and that younger players have supposedly forgotten. So it then becomes imperative to recognize that Horton has been delivering a distinct and forward-thinking blues — faithfully — for more than a decade now. And here again he illustrates his capacity to straddle generations of sound.
There’s a little Sunday school in it, a little sex symbol in it. When I had the lucky pleasure of speaking with Horton some time ago, album well in progress, I asked him to write me some songs to make a pretty girl swoon ― you know, something useful. The musician's response: "I want to make a record that my grandmother would listen to." As it turns out, he has accomplished both of these things. That being the case ― and so utterly so ― Brian Horton's grandmother has to have been the most beautiful woman in the world.
And thank goodness, too. A Brand New Day it is.
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