Doug Horn, Jazz Artist  Horn/Viviano Duo            


Review by George Klein of WEMU

About a dozen years ago I saw a high-spirited saxophonist deliver a riveting solo in a local nightspot. Who is this guy, I wondered - yet another talent in the Ann Arbor area?

I soon learned that Doug Horn has been energizing the Michigan jazz scene for a long time with his instrumental versatility and ebullient spirit, while also working as a band director in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Now with this recording of originals and standards, Doug steps forward as a master composer and player of mainstream jazz.

  Doug Horn Quartet
Photo by David Koether

Doug Horn






Doug's specialty is intricate bebop played effortlessly, usually on alto. His approach is brightand buoyant, with phrases and occasional quotes cascading forth, building in intensity. Prime examples here are his compositions "Phil in the Gap" (dedicated to his main man, Phil Woods) and "Puppy's Pet Peeve" (for his Black Lab, Dexter), and the Latin-tinged "What a Difference a Day Makes."

There are other moods here too: the lyrical poignancy of Doug's flute on "For Eddie" (the late Eddie Russ), the deep warmth of his tenor on "The Very Thought of You" (in memory of Doug's dad. Gene Horn) and the focused passion of his alto on "Deb's Dream" (for Doug's wife). Then there's that irrepressible spirit coming through the soprano on "Samba de Playa," which Doug subtitles "Samba de Beach."

The supporting cast is flawless throughout. Pianist Terry Lower, another veteran of the Michigan jazz scene, is equally adept at providing richly harmonic comping and inventive solos. He always complements the feeling of the tune. Paul Keller is well known in Michigan and around the world as bassist extraordinaire and leader of the Bird of Paradise Orchestra, and now as founder of BOPO Records. Here he is a rock-solid anchor and inventive soloist. Drummer Sean Dobbins is the youngest member of the group but displays remarkable maturity and taste, always supportive and swinging.

Together these four jazz scholars provide definitive lessons in Homithology.

George Klein
The Groove Yard
WEMU 89.1, Ypsilanti MI

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