To borrow a moniker from the superstar world of chefs, Vinny Golia should now be addressed as “Molto Golia.” Besides playing more instruments than any musician working today, he plays in more combinations and groups than just about any working jazzman. From his very large ensembles, to big band, and all the way down to solo performance, he has produced challenging music for the past thirty years.
Feeding Frenzy is subtitled Music For Woodwinds & String Quartet. Golia’s mission here is to shape chamber music into jazz, by making a chamber ensemble a jazz quartet. He does just that by accompanying a pair of violins, a cello, and bass with clarinets and flutes. He eschews his saxophones so as not to overpower his partners. Most recently he released an album of solo performances Clarinet on the Meniscus label, that highlighted his strong woodwind playing.
Here he plays eight different clarinets and five different flutes. The music generally starts inside and, as custom, explores some outward tendencies. The presence of bassist Ken Filiano keeps this project a jazz outing. On the opening track “Title Sequence” Filiano walks his base as if accompanying four horn players. And that’s just it, Golia’s choice of clarinet and flute graciously works along side his violin and cello friends. They play scattered cartoon music, “Death Of The Tremelo,” big city broad shouldered music, “Bare-handed Cricket Catch,” and Aaron Copeland finds dissonance on ”Subterfuge.”
Thoughout Golia displays technique galore from the breathy flute pops on “She’s Joan Raymond” to overblown clarinet on “When Elephants Come Waltzing Through Your Living Room.” This Feeding Frenzy fracas is another successful venture for Vinny Golia.