Gerhardt's Wave Cycle jazzes up White Horse

Special To The Black Mountain News

On Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7:30 p.m., pianist Bill Gerhardt returns to the White Horse Black Mountain’s Wednesday Jazz series with his newest group, Wave Cycle. He’s explored the Brazilian tinged groove music side of his compositional output in the past with Trio South, and Wave Cycle is an extension of that direction.

Bill Gerhardt will bring his new group Wave Cycle to the White Horse on Dec. 2 for Jazz Night.

The sonic palette of Gerhardt’s original music has grown to include drummer Justin Watt, percussionist Cheryl Bennett, bassist Bryan McConnell, vocalist Scotlyn Srodes, violinist Finn Magill and guitarist Rick Praytor.

All of the band members are veterans of the Asheville music scene, and fiddler Magill has released a an acclaimed CD of Brazilian-inpsired music as a soloist.

The music that Wave Cycle performs predates the formation of the band. Rather than writing with a particular ensemble set of players in mind players, the composer takes particular advantage of group dynamics, resulting in music that Gerhardt describes as “direct and accessible…the music stands on its own”. The larger band expands the possibilities exponentially. 

Gerhardt was based for some years in New York City, where he played with a who’s who of contemporary jazz artists and fronted his own quartet. In addition to earning a reputation as a masterful song accompanist he’s made his mark as a composer and arranger whose music has been heard at festivals, concerts, clubs around the world as well as on film, TV and radio. 

Asheville Bassist Mike Holstein says that “Gerhard has a way with music that makes the listener feel as though what he’s playing is brand new to him, like something he’s just discovered for himself, while at the same time conveying a feeling that he could have played it thousand times before”. Through his performances and his work with the Jazz Composers Forum, aimed at young players, Bill Gerhardt is a respected mainstay of the WNC creative community.