285

The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: One And The Same

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
The Jeff Gauthier Goatette: One And The Same One And The Same is violinist Jeff Gauthier's fourth recording with his Goatette quintet and his second on the Cryptogramophone label, of which he is also founder and producer. But Gauthier's group is no mere vanity project. His roots in West Coast improvisation reach back two and a half decades, most notably to the co-founding of the seminal group Quartet Music with the late bassist Eric Von Essen, guitarist Nels Cline and his brother, drummer Alex Cline, in the late 1970s. Nels and Alex are also charter members of Gauthier's Goatette, which includes two other veteran collaborators, bassist Joe Hamilton and keyboardist David Witham. This ensemble defies obvious comparisons to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, despite the parallel instrumental lineup and post-fusion aesthetic.

Eschewing staid fusion tropes, the group avoids flashy virtuosity and endless jamming in favor of delicate introspective ballads, expansive psychedelic excursions, folksy waltz melodies and bracing but restrained free jazz workouts. By trading relentless electronic turmoil for nuanced lyricism and melodious abstraction, Gauthier proves that elation needn't come at the cost of beauty. Channeling the acoustic work of Oregon and the early electronic experiments of Weather Report, One And The Same weaves a subtle but invigorating tapestry.

Gauthier even coaxes out an understated side of Nels Cline's typically explosive playing, providing a showcase for some of his most delicate fretwork. Cline's resplendent statement on "Heart Wisdom" illuminates his capacity for rich lyricism. His own tune, "Don't Answer That," demonstrates solid jazz chops with a jittery, fragmented solo. But Nels isn't totally subdued; he and Alex go head to head on the invigorating opening of "Rina, Part 1." "Ahfufat" is even wilder—looped and delayed guitar shards commingle with Witham's spacey Fender Rhodes-like extraterrestrial distress signals.

The leader's own playing is tuneful, measured and refined. Resisting the urge to break into double-timed abandon over the roiling undercurrent of "Ahfufat," Gauthier shows restraint, his violin soaring lithely over the tumultuous miasma. With equitable leadership, he arranges a string of vivacious solos for the group on the jaunty free bop of "Don't Answer That." But atmospheric introspection reigns supreme, and "A Corner of Morning" closes the album on a lyrical, melancholy note. Featuring two sublime covers from the late Eric Von Essen and a haunting interpretation of Bennie Maupin's "Water Torture" (one of Herbie Hancock's early Sextant pieces), Gauthier establishes his lineage with the past.

Jeff Gauthier's work stands apart from his contemporaries not simply by what he does, but what he chooses not to do. Favoring elegance and splendor over pyrotechnics and intensity, Gauthier is an island in a sea of imitators.


Track Listing: Ahfufat; Solflicka; Water Torture; Don't Answer That; Heart Wisdom; Rina Pt. 1; A Corner of Morning.

Personnel: Jeff Gauthier: violin, electric 4 and 5 string violins, effects; Nels Cline: electric guitars, effects; David Witham: piano, keyboards, effects; Joel Hamilton: bass; Alex Cline: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Cryptogramophone | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Spectre" CD/LP/Track Review Spectre
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review New Spring - Live At The Village Vanguard
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Live In New York" CD/LP/Track Review Live In New York
by John Sharpe
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "The Golden Measure" CD/LP/Track Review The Golden Measure
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "South Beat" CD/LP/Track Review South Beat
by Edward Blanco
Published: September 6, 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!