Fancy Meeting You Here matches reed regent and CalArts faculty member Vinny Golia with pianist and UCSD faculty member Rick Helzer for a collection of emotionally rich duets, featuring some heart-wrenching playing by Golia. The intimate clarity of the recordings allows Golia's considerable vocabulary of nuance full exposure.
"You Tell 'em Kwai Chung flies out of the gate with Helzer's staccato notes falling all around Golia's galloping soprano. He plays a garrulous tenor on "Are We There Yet? with Helzer keeping the riff alive and ornamented. A downshift explores shades of anxiousness, shifting suddenly to a frenzied ending in blue. Getting overtones on the contrabass flute worthy of a pan pipe, Golia's low notes sound like a cello on "I Just Get Dizzy Watching. Helzer scatters broken mirror chord shards. Soprano squeal starts "1st in the Fast Walking Julius Trilogy, then becoming a measured performance with intuitional high water marks.
"All Upset About the Kirward Dirby, brings Golia in on the bass saxophone, boldly swaggering through Helzer's clipped chording. "First in the Fast Walking Julius Trilogy, pt 2 takes the duo through a rigorous workout, Golia back on soprano. "The Insidious Tortures of Brian Henderson remains understated and evocative. The gorgeous melancholy of "Silent Voices combines soulful tenor work and majestic pianistics for a session standout.
Is it possible Let's All Sing the Arnold Griffith Song is based on a tweaked reworking of the "Andy Griffith Show theme structures? The playful duet features Golia on tenor. Five overdubbed tracks of Golia on the piccolo saxophone, the soprillo, create the brief "Sub Code. Together with Golia on bass flute he essays "Blue Sphere, a witty wily inversion on Monkish contrivances. Helzer and Golia again enter serious territory with "Green on Purple, only to return to whimsy for "Blue Sphere (reprise). Fancy Meeting You Here adds a jazzier, more moving title to the already prestigious Nine Winds catalogue.