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Eric Goletz: A New Light

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Eric Goletz: A New Light
Eric Goletz is a virtuoso trombonist who also writes and arranges. On first hearing, his core band may put some in mind of Chase, Bill Chase's high-flying group that featured both vocals and technically demanding trumpet. Goletz has something similar going on. The music opens with "Prelude: Before the Light" and "A New Light," with a stinging solo by guitarist Henry Heinitsch.

Goletz, it may be observed, is the logical outcome of jazz-rock and funk meets brass instrumental science. "Edge of Night" locks in and does not let up. You could be forgiven hearing it as the theme to a QM television production from the 1970s, but suitably updated. Some guy comes on screen in a Lambo, maybe a slim suit version of Tom Selleck. There is something going down, and fast, with the broad vistas of a swaggering, remembered America in the background. Message: Goletz is not your father's bone player. "Dig," which Miles Davis wrote, not only does not back off, but adds Randy Brecker and Jim Ridl: not exactly afterglow music, clocking in at around 350 bpm, before segueing into a relaxed interlude with Brecker. Everyone takes a breath with "Enchanted," featuring the formidable Marco Panascia on bass, with strings blended in as well.

It is back to business with "Greene Street Groove," horns shouting again. "Sunrise, Sunset" strikes a compromise, for a bit at least, before locking into a heavier funk-rock feel with guitarist Heinitsch's solo. "Song for Elizabeth" is much closer to a genuine ballad: Goletz can play pretty if he wants to. On "Don't Gimme That," Goletz and Brecker trade choruses head-to-head, which serves to remind you what gifted jazz players both are. The festivities close out with: "The Mirror" and "Postlude: After the Light."

All-in-all, a remarkable recording, up and edgy and at the highest level of musicianship. Some may prefer music a little more reflective or driven by melody, but no one will call this big band sterile or devoid of excitement. Bracing, to say the least.

Track Listing

Prelude, Before the Light; A New Light; Edge of Night; Dig; Enchanted; Greene Street Groove; Sunrise, Sunset; Song for Elizabeth; Don’t Gimme That!; The Mirror; Postlude: After the Light.

Personnel

Eric Goletz: trombone; Randy Brecker: trumpet; Jim Ridl: piano; Allen Farnham: piano; Henry Heinitsch: guitar; Marco Panascia: bass; Steve Johns: drums; Joe Mowatt: percussion; Tony Gorruso: trumpet; Freddie Maxwell: trumpet; Kent Smith: trumpet; Will DeVos: french horn; Bob Magnuson: saxophone, alto; Erick Storckman: trombone; Jonathan Greenberg: trumpet; Matt Ingman: trombone, bass; Robin Zeh: violin; Paul Woodiel: violin; Michael Rotti: viola.

Additional Instrumentation

David Gold: viola; Sarah Hewitt-Roth: cello.

Album information

Title: A New Light | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Consolidated Artists Productions

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