3

Geoff Goodman: Jazz + Haiku

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Geoff Goodman: Jazz + Haiku On the face of it jazz and haiku wouldn't seem to have a great deal in common: jazz, born in the brothels of New Orleans at the close of the 19th century; haiku, an offshoot of age-old Japanese Zen Buddhism, seeking answers to the meaning of life in the quiet life and a pithy observation of nature.

Yet, as he lurched from one dive to another in Storyville, might not Jelly Roll Morton, on occasion, have gazed up at the summer moon and drunkenly applauded the beauty of the world? At very least, he would surely have understood the words of Basho (1644-1694), greatest of all the haiku poets:

Summer moon—

clapping hands,

I herald dawn.


At its best, haiku, like jazz, is down-to-earth and universal. At its worst, like jazz in the modern age, it considers itself art and encourages pretension. Guitarist/composer Geoff Goodman steers a sometimes uneasy path between these extremes.

Born in New York, now a resident in Munich, Germany, Goodman has played with the likes of Charlie Mariano and Mal Waldron. His band, Curiosities of Nature, includes German saxophonist Till Martin , who has gigged with Clark Terry, Kenny Wheeler, Harold Land and Herb Geller, amongst others.

Haiku are short and to the point, comprising just 17 on (phonetic units). These are usually, but not always, syllables. Accordingly, Goodman has extended and adapted the ones used here.

The opener, "Short Night," by Yosa Buson (1716-1783) is successful on the page but in practice undermined by Fjoralba Turku's sub-Loreena McKennit warblings.

It's the ladies that pose the principal problem here. Goodman's version of Basho's "Sound Of The Wind" opens with a recital in Japanese by Kiyomi, given to dramatic whisperings and occasional whoops. She is joined, quite effectively, by Goodman himself, mercifully speaking English on "Bamboo Children."

Otherwise he sticks to guitar, mostly light and impressionistic but welcomingly muscular on occasion, such as his excellent solo on "The Loves Of A Cat," one of the most successful numbers, with Martin putting in some fine, sensitive work, and Turku's vocal pleasantly restrained.

Like indigestion though, Kiyomi keeps coming back, adding a touch of kabuki to Basho's "Monkey's Raincoat."

It's up and down. "Two Autumns" features some excellent, gently rocking guitar-led ensembles. "Inside A Dream" degenerates into percussive effects, accompanied by ethereal female chanting.

Still, an interesting experiment. One to be greeted by the sound of the clapping of one hand. What else?


Track Listing: Short Night; Sound Of The Wind; Bamboo – Introduction; Bamboo Children; Such A Moon; The Loves Of A Cat; Monkey’s Raincoat; The Holes; Two Autumns; Reprise; Inside A Dream; Cicada; The Sound Of The Bell.

Personnel: Geoff Goodman: guitar; Fjoralba Turku: vocals; Kiyomi: recitations; Till Martin: saxophone, clarinet; Henning Sieverts: bass; Bill Elgart: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Double Moon Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder" CD/LP/Track Review Michael Shrieve's Spellbinder
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "In Hollywood, 1971" CD/LP/Track Review In Hollywood, 1971
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "When You Wish Upon a Star" CD/LP/Track Review When You Wish Upon a Star
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 3, 2016
Read "Otterville" CD/LP/Track Review Otterville
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "Duopoly" CD/LP/Track Review Duopoly
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "The Other Shore" CD/LP/Track Review The Other Shore
by John Sharpe
Published: September 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!