170

The Vinny Golia Quintet: One, Three, Two

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
The Vinny Golia Quintet: One, Three, Two Sometimes adversity can engender the most remarkable responses. Woodwind multi-instrumentalist Vinny Golia and his quintet had landed in Belgium the morning of September 11th, 2001, having taken off from New York a few hours before the terrible tragedy of the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks, only then to discover what had happened. When the promoters gave the group the option of cancelling the tour and trying to find its way back home, the musicians decided to stay and play because, in Golia's words, "it would show the spirit of what our music and our country is all about. While orders of magnitude less in significance, guitarist Nels Cline also badly injured his ankle boarding a train. Things did not bode well.

But, based on the music documented in the live, two-and-a-half hour One, Three, Two, it's clear that the quintet not only transcended the devastating events that had just taken place; it actually channelled the emotions of the moment into performances that truly demonstrated the power of freedom.

That Golia considers the quintet "...a comfortable platform to explore composition, improvisation and orchestration is testament to the broad range of colours that everyone in the ensemble is capable of—with Golia himself utilizing an array of flutes, saxophones, clarinet, and ocarina. Michael Pierre Vlatkovich, with a number of different mutes, coaxes a surprising wealth of textures and emotion from his trombone, from the oblique to the playful. Nels Cline combines the sonic coloration of a rock guitarist with a staggering wealth of musical knowledge—coalescing his diverse interests into a style that remains one of the most distinctive on any scene. Alex Cline, while limiting himself to a traditional drum kit this time around, exhibits the same almost limitless perspective, capable of dissolving into a maelstrom of chaos one moment and swinging hard the next. Bassist Scott Walton, the most recent recruit at five years, is equally adept at following Golia's sometimes idiosyncratic thematic constructs as he is locking into a barrelhouse groove like the one on "The Happy.

But it's the kind of empathy that pervades these two sets that make them so special. Golia may have roots in world music and contemporary classical composition, and there is evidence of both concerns here, but this set is unabashedly jazz, with the group as disposed to swinging hard as it is exploring more challenging flights of free improvisation. The quintet seems to move effortlessly from intense interplay to more defined structure. That Golia has worked with the Cline brothers since the '70s is especially evident in the way that they seem so deeply attuned to the slightest cue and the most subtle nuance. And while the Clines may be the longest-standing members of Golia's Quintet, everyone is equally in sync.

Sometimes intense and serious, other times lithe and humorous, One, Three, Two is always imaginative, adventurous, and gripping. From a quintet that truly defines modern improvised jazz at its best, two sets of music that show how the worst possible events can stimulate passionate, meaningful responses.

Visit Vinny Golia, Nels Cline and Alex Cline on the web.


Track Listing: Disc One: Hexo-Lateral (for Buckminister Fuller); None That Are Giants; While All Are Away; On Behalf of My Benefactors; Prelude to The Orphans
Disc Two: Drum in the Circle of Stone; Waiting, Waiting, Waiting; Make It Snappy; Yari; Bridge Made of Waters; The Happy

Personnel: Vinny Golia (piccolo, C & alto flutes, sopranino, soprano and tenor saxophones, A clarinet and ocarina), Michael Pierre Vlatkovich (trombone), Nels Cline (electric guitar), Scott Walton (double-bass), Alex Cline (drums)

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Jazz Halo | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

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 Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
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 Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Live in Seattle" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Seattle
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Soundscapes" CD/LP/Track Review Soundscapes
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Duet" CD/LP/Track Review Duet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Doug Collette
Published: March 5, 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!