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The West Coast music scene has been thought of as the minor leagues for New York. Musicians like Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, and Art Pepper got their start in California but gravitated to the big apple. Those who stayed behind, like monster pianist Horace Tapscott (find his records), practiced their art in relative obscurity. But look closer, there is today a ripe West Coast scene that includes the post-bop styling of Black Note and B-Sharp Jazz Quartet and the avant-guard work of ROVA saxophone quartet and Gino Robair. Multi-reedist Vinny Golia has been documenting the sounds of the West Coast for the past twenty years through his Nine Winds record label, recording post-Ornette Coleman excursions, chamber jazz, Large (26 musicians) Ensemble modern jazz, everything from noisy free to intimately composed pieces.
His latest offering, subtitled Music For Woodwinds, features 22 instruments. No, this isn’t a Golia Large Ensemble. It’s a duo recording with ROVA saxophonist Steve Adams. Call it modern classical/chamber jazz, the duo weaves the elegant “Not Quite What You Thought” around free overdubbed pieces like “Caucus 1.” Beautifully recorded, they utilize silence as much as sound to present their musical poetry. On “Indeterminate Duo 2” Golia’s bass saxophone prods Adam’s baritone saxophone through the heavy weather. Circular Logic is a series of conversations between two multi-instrumental conversationalists.
Track List:Phonation; Not Quite (What You Thought); Caucus 1; 5 a.m.; Into Thick Air; Caucus 2; Circular Logic; Diatribe, Part 4; Maybe It’s The Light; Indeterminate Duo 2; In Ludwig’s House; Glue; Indeterminate Duo 1; Symbolic Logic
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.