Bruce Hornsby and YMusic wow audience at Troy Music Hall 2/28/2020
Pianist singer-songwriter Bruce Hornsby shared the bill and sextet YMusic shared the bill for an evening of engaging music. The performance consisted of 3 sets: a performance by YMusic, a solo piano set by Bruce Hornsby, and a collaborative set of Hornsby and YMusic.
YMusic consists of a string trio with a trumpet, clarinet and flute. The music defies categorization may be best described contemporary classical chamber music, with an emphasis on mathematical patterns rather than melody.
When Bruce took the stage, some of the audience yelled “Bruce” in anticipation. He did not disappoint, his tall lanky frame and a big smile was aimed to please the audience. Bruce’s music defies categorization also. He has a long list of collaborators as varied as Pat Metheny, Ricky Skaggs, and the Grateful Dead and has achieved fame as a soundtrack composer. He displayed that versatility by performing the jazz standard by performing and singing the jazz standard “My Foolish Heart” and following it with a medley of songs he performed with Ricky Skaggs, quoting 20th-century composer Charles Ives musical phrases in between.
The set collaborating with Absolute Zero was prominently featured Y Music, “Never In This House” was pastoral. “The Blinding Light of Dreams” started with boogie-woogie and rapidly transcended to a complex music pattern with the accompaniment of Y Music as comments on the ghost of racism that hangs over our society. His hit single “The Way It Is” was performed minus the driving drumbeat and the synthesizers had a more contemplative feel to it with Y Music’s accompaniment.
Bruce Hornsby continues to defy categorization and let his music and artistry grow. The audience left enthralled and wondering further fruit this collaboration will bring.