Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Paul Horn - Profile of a Jazz Musician


© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

The editorial staff at JazzProfiles has commented previously on these pages about the important role played by Paul Horn in its early musical development.

You can locate this earlier piece by going here.

As such, we wanted to develop a video tribute to Paul using one of the tunes that he wrote for his quintet which made such an impression on us when we first heard and subsequently played it.

The tune in question is Paul’s Half and Half which has two introductions: the first centered around the piano and bass improvising on two chords and the second introduction consisting of a 12-bar section in 6/8 time.

The tune itself breaks down into three phrases: [1] the first 12-bar phrase in 4/4 which is made up of 8 bars of ensemble or horn solo and 4 bars of drum solo, [2] an 8-bar phrase in 6/8 and [3] a final 8-bars in 4/4.

I particularly liked this one because, as the drummer, I got to finish the last four bars of every one's solo in the first 12-bar phrase. :)

Joining Paul who plays alto saxophone on this track are vibraphonist Emil Richards, pianist Paul Moer, bassist Jimmy Bond and drummer Billy Higgins.


In the early 1960s, the distinguished film producer David Wolper made the following documentary about Paul’s quintet.  Although the passage of time makes it seem a bit dated and quite innocent, we thought it might be of interest as a reflection of the place Jazz once held in the country’s culture and because more of Paul’s music from this period can be heard throughout the film [which is segmented into three-parts for the purpose of displaying it on YouTube].

© -Steven Cerra, copyright protected; all rights reserved.

David Wolper Documentary: The Story of a Jazz Musician