9 Horses in 2016
|Origin||New York City|
|Genres||Jazz, avant-garde jazz, experimental, chamber jazz|
|Associated acts||Kishi Bashi|
|Members||Joseph Brent, Sara Caswell, Andrew Ryan|
|Past members||Shawn Conley, Ben Wittman, Emily Hope Price, Ike Sturm, Nathan Koci, Justin Goldner, Brett Parnell, Taylor Haskins|
Brent and bassist Shawn Conley first played together in 2010 in Brent's short-lived project The Joe Brent Quartet, which also featured clarinetist Hideaki Aomori and guitarist Nadav Lev. However, when Brent's commitments to Regina Spektor's touring band and his teaching responsibilities at Mannes College spread his time too thin, he put the quartet project on hold. In 2012, he started performing as a duo with Caswell, and after releasing Joe Brent & Sara Caswell EP together in 2013, they decided to add a bass player and Brent called on Conley once again. After making the finals of the 2014 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, they were signed to Sunnyside Records and released their debut album, Perfectest Herald in October, 2015. The recording includes percussionist Ben Wittman, but live performances generally feature either the trio alone, or guest musicians such as Emily Hope Price or Ike Sturm. In 2016, after adding Ryan, they were the 1st Prize winners of the inaugural 21CM Launch: Emerging Artists competition.
Brent was formerly a member of Regina Spektor's band, is an active classical soloist, and with Caswell he occasionally performs with Kishi Bashi. Caswell is also a member of Esperanza Spalding's Chamber Music Society and David Krakauer's The Big Picture. Ryan performs with newgrass ensemble The Freewheel Trio and Canadian folk musician Kaia Kater.
The trio's music, all of which is composed or arranged by Brent, combines elements of improvised musical forms with classical chamber music and Brent's own indie rock influences. The four movement piece entitled Perfectest Herald which gives the album its name and acts as its centerpiece contains elements of rock, new music, Middle Eastern music, jazz, rhythm and blues, and traditional classical music, most notably in the 2nd movement, listening to the Elliott Smith discography in reverse order, in which a single musical subject passes through all of the aforementioned genres and a fugue before recapitulating. The music for the 'Perfectest Herald' suite has been called, "...among the most life affirming one will ever hear... Regardless of which emotional depths Brent drew on to compose these pieces, this highly emotive music touches and communicates the essence of what it means to be an alive, feeling human being."
As Joe Brent & Sara Caswell
- Joe Brent & Sara Caswell EP (2013)
As 9 Horses
- Perfectest Herald (2015)
- Blood From a Stone (EP) (2019)
|2013||Kishi Bashi||7" Box Set||Brent and Caswell play violin|
|2014||Lauren Kinhan||Circle in the Square||Brent and Caswell play violin|
|2015||Kishi Bashi||String Quartet Live!||Brent plays mandolin and violin; Caswell plays violin|
|2018||The Mountain Goats and Welcome to Night Vale||I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas||Brent plays electric mandolin and Ryan plays bass with Erin McKeown on Brent's arrangement of 'Jenny'|
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- "I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats: All Hail West Texas". Merge Records. Retrieved 13 November 2017.