John Goldman: In Walked Pierre (2005)
In Walked Pierre is the new disc from Portland, Oregon-born, Chicago-based saxophone and flautist John Goldman. Featuring an assortment of original compositions and choice, individualistic covers, the new disc is smooth, assured, and eclectic.
The opening title track, a Goldman original, is a soothing, loping number that features Pierre Walker contributing wordless vocals, often in unison with Goldman's horn, until the leader takes off with a crisp, conversational alto solo. The track clocks in at a little over nine minutes, giving the musicioans plenty of time to stretch out and introduce themselves.
The performance of "It Was A Very Good Year is a nice changeup, not least of all because it is rare to hear the tune performed without vocals. The instrumental treatment brings out the almost folk underpinnings of the melody, making it sound like a cousin to "Greensleeves. Underneath Goldman's soaring solo, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Greg Wiserpratt maintain a rock-solid backbeat. Goldman gets a chance to display his prowess on the flute on a take of the gentle ballad "Ebony that also features gentle acoustic guitar work from Luciano Antonio. On the opposite end of the spectrum, "Katerina's is a hard bop spiced number that wouldn't sound out of a place on a classic Blue Note session.
In Walked Pierre is a wide-ranging disc that has room for lilting vocal tracks, ethereal ballads, and hard-driving blues. The diverse moods are matched by uniformly accomplished and imaginative instrumental performances.
Track Listing: In Walked Pierre; It Was A Very Good Year; Katerina's; Column Blues; Ebony; Hicks & Yahoos; West Nile; Mr. DC; Upper Manhattan Medical Group; Wednesday Night.
Personnel: John Goldman: alto and soprano saxophone, flute; Pierre Walker: vocal; Dan Cray: piano; Clark Sommers: bass; Greg Wiserpratt: drums; Luciano Antonio: acoustic guitar; Neal Alger: electric guitar; Pharez Whitted: trumpet; Jeff Parker: electric guitar; Donna Goldman: vocal.