The title of organist Jared Gold's newest release seems to suggest that he is returning to the fold after being away for a time. In actuality, he has been a mainstay on the New York scene for some time now and can boast eight previous albums as a leader dating back to 2008's Solids and Stripes. More likely is that the title alludes to the fact that Gold's discography appears exclusively on the Posi-Tone label, an imprimatur known for short, radio-friendly tracks that don't always allow for much development. So indeed, Reemergence seems like a fresh start for Gold as it permits him a better opportunity to fully display his wares.
From the moment trumpeter Jeremy Pelt's clarion call ushers in the title track, it's clear that Gold and company are headed down an open path boasting all kinds of surprises along the way. Gold's bass lines are full and supportive, and drummer Billy Hart brings his own share of creative notions. Hart's solo here is a lesson in musicality, not to mention the wide stereo spread provided by engineer Chris Sulit.
The waltz tempo of "It Ain't Necessarily So" keeps the pots on with guitarist and producer Dave Stryker stretching out for the first solo spot. Gold's own statement is a model of his imaginative improvisational vigor. As things start to simmer, he includes a quote of "Little B's Poem" and then goes on to smash chords and furl out 16th notes runs before literally pulling out all the stops at the tune's conclusion. Think a combination of the foundational bass lines of Richard "Groove" Holmes mixed with the intricate runs of Larry Young and you get an idea of Gold's modus operandi.
Two pop numbers of note, Stevie Wonder's' "Looking for Another Pure Love" and The Beatles' "She's Leaving Home," get updated treatments, much like the type of thing Stryker himself has been doing lately for his own 8-Track projects. Both versions offer proof of the substance and fodder available in some of the great pop tunes of our time.
A warhorse that has been done too many times to expect any kind of welcome, "How Long Has This Been Going On," manages to rise above the usual in an airy bossa nova version by Gold and company. The polar opposite in terms of intensity, Ornette's clever "Blues Connotation" is ripe for exploration as Gold spins a dark tale filled with brilliant uses of shading and rhythm. Stryker offers up an equally stunning solo followed by Hart's matchless riffing and cymbal splashing.
From start to finish, it is perfectly clear that Gold has found the perfect forum for showing off all the sides of his resourceful personality. He certainly couldn't have picked a better crew of like-minded musicians to aid him in his task or a better producer. Here's hoping the alliance with Strikezone continues; it fits Gold to a tee.
Reemergence; It Ain't Necessarily So; Lookin' For Another Pure Love; She's Leaving Home; One for John A; How Long Has
This Been Going On; Blues Connotation; Sweet Sweet Spirit; Nomad.
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