Ron Horton: Everything in a Dream

On this CD, his third as a leader, Ron Horton’s virtuosity and imagination exceed 2003’s remarkable Subtextures. For one thing, the trumpeter has more to work with, expanding from a quartet to a septet with three horns and-on a number of tracks-two basses.

Given that Horton’s previous album included a piece called “Malaby,” it is satisfying this time to hear the actual Tony Malaby on tenor, along with altoist John O’Gallagher, pianist Frank Kimbrough, drummer Mike Sarin and bassists John Hebert and Masa Kamaguchi. Once again, Horton opens with an Andrew Hill piece-last time it was “Cantarnos;” this time it’s “Yellow Violet” from Dance With Death.

Also, having adapted Messiaen for quartet on Subtextures, Horton turns his attention to captivating melodies by Samuel Barber (“Saint Ita’s Vision”) and Monteverdi (“Lamento d’Arianna”). These pieces, along with six worthy originals and a brief look at Jimmy Giuffre’s “Phoenix,” cover a wide sonic spectrum and feature improv and ensemble writing at the highest level. Horton tilts toward the darker end of the harmonic spectrum but breaks free of tonality on the title track as well as “Grovellin’.”