Bruce Hornsby and yMusic played a fantastic concert of modern chamber music and Hornsby original compositions on Friday March 6, 2020 at the Strathmore Music Center.
yMusic played a 45 minute opening set of modern extended string quartet (i.e flue, clarinet, trumpet) music featuring music by several composers as well as yMusic's own self penned compositions. Other pieces played were from recent Grammy award winning composer Caroline Shaw featured on fellow New Amsterdam Records stablemates the Attacca Quartet.
Mr. Hornsby then took the stage and proceeded to play both new and crowd favorites on solo piano with subtle MIDI controlled synthesizer provided by an Apple MacBook. Hornsby is an incredibly versatile player easily mixing Rock, Folk. Classical and Jazz idioms in one composition. He also has an instantly recognizable sound that reminds me of James Taylor's comments he once called "Genetic Chords". Bruce played these recognizable "Genetic Chords" on the song The Way It Is to great effect.
After his solo set, he was joined by yMusic to help flesh out compositions from his latest album Absolute Zero which features yMusic's accompaniment. Despite the challenge of integrating Hornsby's freewheeling style and the need to provide charts to the quartet, yMusic proved more than capable of playing off script and improvising with the pianist. Clearly both Bruce and yMusic were in their element and having a very good time.
yMusic's accompaniment on such favorites as Mandolin Rain was particularly poignant.
Hornsby also referenced his recent surprise walk-on at a Bon Iver concert at DC's Anthem music club. Justin Vernon of Bon Iver is also featured on the album Absolute Zero.
The show ended with a fun song composed by yMusic which featured Hornsby singing along with Alex (from yMusic) without piano.
A truly musical and fun night for fans of Bruce Hornsby and adventurous music.