Mylab, Mylab

Thomas Bartlett

By Thomas Bartlett

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Mylab is a collaboration between producer/engineer Tucker Martine and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz, a well-traveled veteran of the avant-jazz scene best known for his work in Zony Mash and John Zorn's Naked City. For this project, Martine and Horvitz wrote 12 original compositions, all of which are either based around or punctuated by samples, many of them early 20th-century folk music recordings. The very accomplished result sounds like a combination of the spiky, playful modern jazz of Sex Mob, the groove-based jazz-funk of Medeski, Martin and Wood, and the ragged sonic tapestries of the Latin Playboys. Many of Horvitz's past and present collaborators sit in as guest soloists, notably Bill Frisell, Briggan Krauss, Eyvind Kang and Danny Barnes. It's impressive, then, that even in such rarified company, Horvitz himself stands out as the most interesting soloist. This is particularly true when he takes the improvisation into more abstract territory, as he does on "Pop Client" and "Old Days," two of the record's standout tracks.