Bruce Hornsby, the creatively insatiable pianist and singer-songwriter from Williamsburg, Va., always has succeeded on his exceptional gifts, his training, and his work ethic. He became a global name in music by reimagining American roots forms as songs with the atmospheric grace of jazz. His 1986 album The Way It Is defined sonic joy on the radio.
He has returned to traditional American roots forms, collaborating with Ricky Skaggs. He has played with the Grateful Dead. He has fused the plunk and dazzle of 20th-century modernist classical composition to singer-songwriter emotional inquiries. He has scored films. He has performed with symphony orchestras. So when Hornsby describes Absolute Zero, his new album, as “a compendium of what I like and moves me,” prepare for a multifaceted ride.