Doug Horn Trio tell stories through music at Kerrytown Concert House

Thursday, January 11, 2018 - 4:35pm

A determining factor of a performance stems from whether there is a story being told, whether the music on the page comes to life and the musicians inspire the audience to do more than just follow the melodic line. The Doug Horn Trio will make it hard not to do more; it will be only natural to visualize, imagine and truly experience the music as they bring more than just a wide range of jazz standards and originals at the Kerrytown Concert House. With each tune backed by personal life experiences and memories, stories will fill the hall. In such an intimate venue and with a personal history behind each song, it is without a doubt that the Doug Horn Trio will bring the audience a remarkable and reminiscent experience.  

While the trio is more of a traditional and classic jazz group, they will be performing pieces of all influences: soulful tunes, ballads, rumba, country soul and Latin tunes. The concert is bound to inspire audience members of all backgrounds.

“We are trying to preserve the American songbook,” explained Doug Horn, saxophone player of the trio. They will be playing classics such as “If Ever I Would Leave You” by Robert Goulet, “You Don’t Know Me” by Eddy Arnold (though largely made famous by Ray Charles), “Heartaches” by Patsy Cline and others. Behind many of the selections are stories. 

Doug Horn recalled his experience playing “If Ever I Would Leave You”: “I spent 1,800 nights on 13 different cruise ships over about a 12-year period and hung out with Robert Goulet on the Norway. Three of us went into one of the fanciest places at three in the morning. We weren’t supposed to be there because it was closed, but he and his wife were wandering around and we went in there and gave them a private concert.”

The original pieces that will be played during the Sunday program have incredibly profound experiences backing them, too. Their new album, High Standards, is dedicated in full to Doug Horn’s wife, who has been through eight years battling lymphoma and countless medical appointments. “Deb’s Dream,” a Doug Horn original, is dedicated to his wife as well, who will attend the concert. Other originals include “Julian’s Joint,” dedicated to the friend who convinced the group to release the album, and “Shirley Girl,” dedicated to Horn’s mother — bringing in tangible life experience of all kinds. Powerful melodies and insight will fill the Kerrytown Concert House to welcome audience members in.

“I like to embrace the melody rather than take it apart,” Horn stated. In this way, the show will be for every type of listener. While the tunes vary in style and mood, a strong melody will make for an engaging performance.

Along with a strong emphasis on melodies rather than fast technical passages, the concert will be played how Doug Horn believes all jazz should be played: entirely “human-powered,” without any amplification.

“We don’t do a lot of pyrotechnics, although we swing hard,” he said. 

In terms of the Trio’s group dynamic, their individual relationships, dating back to the ‘70s and the ‘90s, are bound to bring in lively musical conversation and effortless flow.

“I think the audience is just going to enjoy this really cohesive bond between the three of us. There is just a natural tight fit and it works really well,” Horn stated. Even though there is no drummer, Horn claims “there is so much rhythm between Paul Keller (bass) and Rick Roe (piano) that [they] don’t even need a drummer.”

A nostalgic program paired with such a connected and experienced group, with musicians relying solely on the pure power of their instruments, will bring about an exceptional performance this Sunday afternoon.