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Ben Goldberg: Good Day For Cloud Fishing

Read "Good Day For Cloud Fishing" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Poetry and jazz, jazz and poetry, which came first? Ben Goldberg poses that same question with Good Day For Cloud Fishing. His answer to the philosophical 'chicken or the egg' riddle is well, both. Sure, Homer wrote the Iliad centuries before King Oliver put cornet to lips, but damn if there wasn't some gutbucket rhyming to be found in Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia. Goldberg riding the wave of jazz/poetry projects beginning with Kenneth Patchen's collaboration with Charles ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 2-2

Read "Edgefest 2017: Give the Drummers Some, Part 2-2" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Part 1 | Part 2 Edgefest Ann Arbor, MI October 20-21, 2017 On the last two days of the festival, the Edgefest audience was treated to even more of the eclectic, explorative music that was present in abundance on Wednesday and Thursday. Edgefest-goers who were able to attend the early-evening performance of Ben Goldberg's “Invisible Guy" trio experienced Goldberg's distinctive combination of technical brilliance and imaginative, boundary- stretching work on ...

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Two Sides of Ben Goldberg

Read "Two Sides of Ben Goldberg" reviewed by Troy Collins

Developments in the evolving recording industry have inspired an increasing number of musicians to form their own labels. San Francisco-based clarinetist Ben Goldberg, a veteran of the 1990s Downtown New York scene, joined many of his peers in 2009 with Go Home, the inaugural release of his BAG Production Records imprint. Goldberg's prior efforts, issued by independents like Songlines and Tzadik, included an assortment of diverse projects, ranging from the Radical Jewish Culture experiments of the New Klezmer Trio to ...

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Ben Goldberg: Go Home

Read "Go Home" reviewed by Troy Collins

From the debut of his seminal New Klezmer Trio two decades ago to his current membership in the inimitable collective Tin Hat, clarinetist Ben Goldberg has gradually worked his way from the outer fringes of the avant-garde to the accessible center of the new jazz underground. Go Home is the inaugural release of his own label, BAG Production, and the premier of his most approachable band.

Aided by guitarist Charlie Hunter, drummer Scott Amendola and cornetist Ron Miles, ...

INTERVIEWS

Ben Goldberg: Clarinet Communion

Read "Ben Goldberg: Clarinet Communion" reviewed by Warren Allen

The diversity of clarinetist Ben Goldberg's musical interests may only be matched by the intensity of his study. He grew up on The Beatles and classic jazz, started playing Klezmer music at the University of California, Berkeley in the early '80s, and studied with renowned classical clarinet teacher Rosario Mazzeo. In 1984, he became the clarinetist for The Klezmorim, touring throughout the U.S. and Europe, where he also met and learned from the legendary soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. In 1987, ...

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Ben Goldberg: Go Home

Read "Go Home" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

This disc rocks, which is not something normally said about sets led by a clarinetist. But it doesn't begin that way. The sound of Go Home, from clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg, croons to life with a smooth and creamy licorice stick/cornet unison interlude on “TGO," with the dark wood-wielding leader joined by brass man Ron Miles for a duo introduction. Then, thirty seconds in, the crunch and slam rock element rears its head, pushed to the surface by 7-String guitar ace ...

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Ben Goldberg's Bag: Tin Hat & Go Home

Read "Ben Goldberg's Bag: Tin Hat & Go Home" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Ben Goldberg's music has never followed a set course or formula and the forward-thinking clarinetist always sticks to his guns when making artistic decisions. This has often resulted in positive press for his innovative work and it appears to have propelled him to take control of his own destiny. BAG Production Records is Goldberg's new, self-created label and it serves as an outlet for him to present his recordings to the world at large. Goldberg's work with reed players John ...

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Ben Goldberg: Go Home

Read "Go Home" reviewed by Sean Patrick Fitzell

A comfortable familiarity permeates Go Home, the latest project from veteran clarinetist Ben Goldberg and the first offering from his Bag Production Records. Culled from both studio and live cuts, these feel-good romps suggest the intimacy of a jam session. He enlists longtime collaborators Charlie Hunter on seven-string guitar, Ron Miles on trumpet and cornet and Scott Amendola on drums, and their easy rapport fosters the music's success. Trafficking in meaty mid- and slow-cooking tempos, the group ...

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Ben Goldberg: Go Home

Read "Go Home" reviewed by John Kelman

Between the rather eclectic and enigmatic The Door, The Chair, The Hat, The Fact (Cryptogramophone, 2006) and Plays Monk (Long Song, 2007), his characteristically idiosyncratic and unorthodox trio take on the music of Thelonious Monk, clarinetist Ben Goldberg continues to expand his broad musical interests, heard in earlier groups including Tin Hat and New Klezmer Trio. Few American artists other than Don Byron and Perry Robinson have focused so exclusively on this small wooden reed instrument, and while Goldberg's left-of-center ...

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Ben Goldberg Quintet: The Door, The Hat, The Chair, The Fact

Read "The Door, The Hat, The Chair, The Fact" reviewed by Elliott Simon

This is music that produces seemingly random associations as snippets of form and formlessness lead you to free, or perhaps not so freely, associate. Personal experiences dovetail with these compositions, which lead through nodes of memory and mood: from poet Robert Creeley to Alan Ginsburg to swing, world and free, through Bechet, Bird and Trane and then, of course, to the late soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. Poet Rosmarie Waldrop speaks of how we can examine by boring down or zooming ...

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Ben Goldberg Quintet: The Door, The Hat, The Chair, The Fact

Read "The Door, The Hat, The Chair, The Fact" reviewed by John Kelman

He's been active for fifteen years, but unless you know the New Klezmer Trio or have followed the Bay Area scene, chances are you haven't heard of clarinetist Ben Goldberg. Despite appearing on records by Charlie Hunter, Tin Hat Trio and John Zorn, in addition to half a dozen albums released under his own name, he's never managed to grab significant attention, despite the relatively light competition in the jazz clarinet arena. So hopefully The Door, The Hat, The Chair, ...

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Ben Goldberg - John Schott - Trevor Dunn: Almost Never

Read "Almost Never" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Almost Never represents the latest effort from Bay area musicians, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, guitarist John Schott and bassist Trevor Dunn. And while they have recorded as a unit along with drummer Kenny Wollesen, under the moniker of Junk Genius, Almost Never signifies their freshman outing for the modern jazz-improvisation based Nuscope Recordings label.

The musicians seemingly defy gravity with their light touch and flotation style of interaction on the opener, “Pitchbend,” partly due to Goldberg’s soft, vibrato-less lines and Dunn’s ...