Sweeter Than the Day:
Wayne Horvitz – Piano and Keyboards
Timothy Young – Guitars
Keith Lowe – Acoustic Bass
Eric Eagle – Drums
Formed in 1999, Sweeter Than the Day began simply as the acoustic incarnation of Zony Mash. The band played a series of weekly shows at Seattle’s Baltic Room (curated by Reggie Watts), and quickly became Wayne Horvitz’s first piano-based ensemble in over 10 years, and one of Wayne’s longest-running groups, as well as one of his favorites. Despite the shared personnel, the ensemble is quite distinct from the electric Zony Mash and the repertoire is almost entirely different. The band has toured throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Sweeter Than the Day also presents double bills with Robin Holcomb, where it serves as Robin’s backup band.
Sweeter Than the Day recorded 2 CDs for Songlines: American Bandstand(now re-titled Forever) (2000) and Sweeter Than the Day (2002). In 2005, Kufala Recordings released Live at the Rendezvous, December 2004, recorded over a series of four nights at the Jewel Box Theatre at the Rendezvous in Belltown, Seattle. The band’s most recent recording is the self-released A Walk in the Dark (2008).
A Walk in the Dark features 11 new originals, showcasing Sweeter Than the Day’s signature blend of Horvitz’ unique and understated harmonic language,Tim Young‘s brilliant and beautiful solos, and the group interplay that the band is so well known for. “This is more of a playing record”, says Horvitz. “It isn’t live, but it’s a lot closer to that feeling than Forever or Sweeter Than the Day – a little looser and a little edgier: it’s got more up-tempo tunes and we stretch more. Tim does some things that just knock my socks off. We actually recorded this the same week I recorded the new Gravitas CD, and we do three or four of the same tunes. The contrast is fantastic between the two bands, and I am blessed to have not one, but two ensembles bringing so much life to my pieces.” Some of that edge can be heard on The 29th Day of May, despite its gentle theme, as well as A Moment for Andrew (for pianist Andrew Hill), and Between The Floors, both featuring a mutated swing feel driven by newest member Eric Eagle (drums). Other highlights include Tim Young’s blues groove on A Walk in the Rain, two gorgeous ballads, Good Shepherd andUndecided, and the lovely Waltz from Woman of Tokyo, excerpted from a score for the silent film of the same name by the iconic Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu.
The CDs are available at record stores, online, and here at the Shop page.
What the critics are saying about Sweeter Than the Day:
” …a great showcase for Horvitz’s beautiful compositions, his really strange angular chord progressions.
Ned Wharton, NPR’s Weekend Edition
“On piano, Horvitz is economical yet lyrical, never venturing far from the strong melodic hooks which characterize his compositions, but constantly working small surprises. An irresistible antidote to gray days.”
The Wire, UK