Bill Horist

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Guitarist Bill Horist has played with some of the avant-garde community's most luminous artists, bringing his emotionally potent experimentalism to an instrument that is often accused of lacking the expressiveness…
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Guitarist Bill Horist has played with some of the avant-garde community's most luminous artists, bringing his emotionally potent experimentalism to an instrument that is often accused of lacking the expressiveness of horns or vocals. A native of southwest Michigan, Horist had already played with such star instrumentalists as Medeski, Martin & Wood, Rashied Ali, and Freddie Hubbard before moving to Seattle in 1994. Once in Seattle, Horist gained notoriety as an extremely versatile player, initially recording and touring with jangling rockers Kung Pao Dickens and the improvised chamber quartet UnFOlkUs, along with other groups. He subsequently worked with increasingly experimental groups, from the grinding Axolotl (with guitarist Dennis Rea), to the more fluid Ghidra (featuring saxophonist Wally Shoup), and the guitar/DJ duo Tablet. His ability to bring his own improvisational voice to genres ranging from out-jazz to industrial noise has made him a popular collaborator with artists everywhere from the U.K. to Japan. His first two Unit Circle releases, Soylent Radio in 1997 and Songs From the Nerve Wheel in 2000, showed the same kind of eclecticism that should serve warning that, just as surely as Horist will rarely intersect with convention, he will always have something interesting to say.