Wherein Lies the Good, the third album from Seattle-bred, Brooklyn-based brass quartet The Westerlies, presents a radical reimagining of the American song. “Skilled interpreters who are also adept improvisers” (NPR’s Fresh Air), The Westerlies approach this ferociously unique set of music with the full breadth of their expressive palette: the delicacy and precision of the concert hall, the breathless spontaneity of a midnight jam session, and the earthy grit of a backyard hoedown.
Following a series of high-profile collaborations with Fleet Foxes, Common, and Dave Douglas, The Westerlies return to their quartet roots with a broad collection of original compositions and arrangements of time-tested American songs.
At the center of the album lies the title track, Wherein Lies The Good, an 11-movement work originally written for piano by Seattle-based composer/singer-songwriter Robin Holcomb. Holcomb is a longtime friend and mentor to The Westerlies from their childhood in Seattle, and their close personal relationship with her is reflected in the ensemble’s intimate approach to her music.
The album also presents a wide array of American vocal music. Drawing upon the art songs of Charles Ives, the soul-stirring music of the Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet, and the yearning voices of singer-songwriters Arthur Russell and Judee Sill, the Westerlies translate these seemingly disparate collections of vocal repertoire through their horns to find a common American voice.
This latest release follows the ensemble’s previous two critically acclaimed albums of genre-defying chamber music: its 2014 debut, Wish the Children Would Come On Home: The Music of Wayne Horvitz (Songlines), and a 2016 double-CD of primarily original compositions, The Westerlies (Songlines).
Imbued with the spirit of improvisation and a folk-like candor, Wherein Lies The Good showcases The Westerlies at their best, blazing new trails across the vast expanse of the American musical landscape.
Wherein Lies The Good - by Robin Holcomb
Five Spirituals by The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet
Golden Gate Gospel Train
Born Ten Thousand Years Ago
Do Unto Others
Two Songs by Charles Ives
In The Mornin’
Eli - by Arthur Russell
The Kiss - by Judee Sill
Weeping Mary - Traditional, Arr. Sam Amidon
Five Compositions by The Westerlies
Chickendog and Woodylocks - by Willem de Koch
Entropy - by Riley Mulherkar
Laurie - by Chloe Rowlands
Robert Henry - by Andy Clausen
Underscore for Pete - by Willem de Koch