Don Goldie: Trumpet Caliente

C. Andrew Hovan By

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Trumpet Caliente Don Goldie
Trumpet Caliente

While the majority of classic jazz albums have obtained their status based on the innovative nature of the statements contained therein, the fact remains that there are a sizable number of albums that charm in a way that is quite different from the virtues of, let's say, Kind Of Blue or A Love Supreme. These minor gems may speak in a way that reaches the listener more directly or they may possibly contain a good number of favorite standards that just happen to strike a chord with a number of fans. The point I'm trying to make is that something doesn't necessarily have to hit you over the head or be a profound and moving experience to make it worth spending some time with.

In the case of trumpeter Don Goldie none of the few recorded artifacts that he left behind could by any standard be considered innovative or radical, yet they provided an ideal forum for an ebullient and particularly brassy soloist with something important to say. While he is most clearly associated with the Dixieland and swing genres through prominent stays with Jack Teagarden, Lester Lanin, and Buddy Rich, Goldie's brief period of solo work from the early '60s illustrated that he was indeed a versatile artist who could very easily lead the show, as he so eloquently proves in his first Argo release from 1961, Brilliant.

Goldie's sophomore effort for Argo, 1962's Trumpet Caliente is the subject at hand and it solidifies the trumpeter's stylistic muse. For one thing, the engineering this time is provided by Rudy Van Gelder and one gets an even better chance to hear the finely etched shadings of Goldie's astonishingly expressive and full-bodied tone. Leo Wright is heard on alto sax and flute, pairing successfully with the trumpeter. Pianist Patti Bown, bassist Ben Tucker, drummer Ed Shaugnessy, and conga drummer Ray Barretto further support the twosome on a half-dozen sides that mostly fall in the category of jazz standards.

While swing is at a premium for numbers like "Fast Thought" and "There Will Never Be Another You," the Latin tinge comes into play (thus, giving some meaning to the Spanish album title) for three pieces that add guitarist Barry Galbraith, percussionist Willie Rodriguez, and arranger Manny Albam. Particularly jubilant is a bossa version of "Shiny Stockings" with Wright's flute providing an airy touch. Nothing really gets above a medium tempo here, but there's a sense of satisfaction and amazement at Goldie's effortless forays that make this set one of my late night favorites. Like the previously mentioned Brilliant and his Verve set Trumpet Exodus, Goldie's Trumpet Caliente is worthy of reissue, even if it means one of the pricey Japanese variety.


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