Bruce Hornsby, a Los Angeles-based songwriter and pianist who was inspired by
Leon Russell, debuted with
The Way It Is (RCA, 1986), an album of soulful ballads that relied on
a light-weight combo and jazz piano
(The Way It Is, Mandolin Rain).
Scenes From the Southside (RCA, 1988) includes the hits
The Valley Road (a ditty that hides influences ranging from Keith
Jarrett to McCoy Tyner),
The Road Not Taken, and marks Hornsby's golden age.
Around the same time Don Henley also had a
hit with Hornsby's The End Of Innocence.
A Night on the Town (RCA 1990) showed the first signs of commercial
decline, as Hornsby distanced himself from the "artificial" sound of previous
albums (electronic backdrop, countless overdubs) and embraced a "rock"
attitude (a real band and even a Jerry Garcia on guitar in the emphatic
Across the River, ot at least a country-rock one.
The truth is that
the harrowing Fire On The Cross (with jazz veteran Wayne Shorter on
saxophone and bluegrass veteran Bela Fleck on banjo) and the jazzy ballad
Stander on the Mountain (Charlie Haden on bass) signal a more erudite
stage of his career.
In the meantime, he had become Grateful Dead's keyboardist,
and that experience helped him focus on the jazz side of his art.
Harbor Lights (RCA, 1993), recorded by a basic trio of keyboards, bass
and drums and augmented with a cast of pop superstars, is therefore a less
entertaining but more profound statement of his art (Tide Will Rise,
Fields Of Gray, with a melody borrowed from Ben King's Stand By Me,
and Pastures of Plenty, which sounds like Grateful Dead); and
Hot House (RCA, 1995) is his mature statement as an artist:
lengthy melodic fantasies (Spider Fingers, The Changes,
The Tango King, Country Doctor) that express a soul rather
than a marketing campaign. However, Walk In The Sun and Big Rumble
were still trying to sell this brainy style to the masses.
The ambitious double album Spirit Trail (RCA, 1998) is probably too
much for Hornsby's limited originality, but still provided repertoire
material such as Line In The Dust, Preacher in the Ring, Sneaking Up On Boo Radley, Sunflower Cat.
After the live album Here Come the Noise Makers (2000),
Hornsby reinvented himself with Big Swing Face (RCA, 2002), a collection
of songs that he "designed" and arranged, but hardly plays at all. The sound
is updated to the latest techno/ambient/hip-hop production techniques
(Sticks and Stones, This Too Shall Pass).
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami