Mastered At - Hanzsek Audio by - Mel Detmer
Mixed At - Other Rooms
Recorded At - Bear Creek Studios
Wayne Horvitz's name should be well-known to anyone familiar with the downtown New York City Knitting Factory scene. Horvitz has been one of the leading members of the avant music movement in that city since the late '70s and is best known for his work with John Zorn's genre defying group, Naked City. Though Horvitz now lives in Seattle, he continues to explore different musical ideas with various bands, including Zony Mash and the 4+1 Ensemble.
On the group's second Knitting Factory release, Zony Mash exhibits growth as a band. Led by the Hammond B3 organ work of Horvitz, the group explores the cerebral funk envelope, recalling Medeski, Martin and Wood. However, unlike that band, Zony Mash never gets stuck in the groove, throwing various surprises at the listener. On "Meet the Zony Mash," a great funk rhythm dissolves into cacophony. The opening track "Slide By" has a dark, ominous feel, transcending a typical Meters dance number. The rest of the band-Timothy Young on guitar, Fred Chalenor on bass and Andy Roth on drums-sound hesitant on the non-funk parts, holding the music back. Brand Spankin' New is much more varied and original than their last, and shows promise of greater things to come.
The 4+1 Ensemble album suggests the quieter moments of Zony Mash. The combo features Horvitz on piano, Evyind Kang on violin, Julian Priester on trombone, Reggie Watts on keyboards, and the +1 of the group, Tucker Martine, on electronic processing. The music weaves together elements of classical, jazz and ambient, creating a lush, serene feel at times and a chaotic, angry one at others. This is a rare foray into acoustic-focused music for Horvitz, and it is a joy to hear his great piano work on "Take Me Home." The instrumentation and composition is top-notch, making this a must for anyone interested in adventuresome music.
-Jack Schonewolf (All Music Guide)