276

The Aaron Goldberg Quartet At The Village Vanguard

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Aaron Goldberg Quartet
Village Vanguard
New York, NY
February 3, 2011

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night could keep pianist Aaron Goldberg from his appointed rounds at the Village Vanguard. While Goldberg's opening night met with all of the aforementioned conditions, and a few other treats that the weather gods saw fit to bring down upon the people, things had settled down by the third evening of the engagement and his augmented trio was in prime performance mode.

Goldberg's first set of the night, lasting just over an hour, was heavy on material from Home (Sunnyside, 2010), touching on everything from personalized takes on decidedly different songs of Latin American origin—Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Luiza" and Pablo Milanes' "Cancion Por La Unidad Latinoamericana"—to original, modern blues with attitude ("Aze's Bluzes"). The lone guest on that album—tenor saxophonist Mark Turner—reprised his role on the three quartet numbers from the recording, adding new layers of depth to the sound of this established trio. Turner's tone took on a sweet edge as he veered toward alto saxophone-like serenades on "Cancion Por La Unidad Latinoamericana," but he took on a weightier sound for "The Rules" and "Aze's Bluzes."

When Turner was tacit, Goldberg and his longtime trio mates had no problem holding the attention of the audience, as they dissected the music from every angle possible. Rubato piano introductions led to flexible displays of rhythmic acuity ("Taurus") and malleable bass lines melded with the piano, as brushes colored the corners of the music ("Luiza").

While bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland might have a higher profile from their work with saxophonist Charles Lloyd, their contributions to Goldberg's group easily rival and, perhaps, surpass what they do for that shamanistic saxophone legend. Harland's drumming on "The Rules" proved to be epic, as his chops swept through the room like a Category Five Hurricane, leaving the audience stunned by his rhythmic mastery. Post-modern swing currents, aggressive funk-tinged grooves and choppy, drum-n-bass derived beats were also part of the evening, giving ample demonstration of why Harland is held in such high regard throughout the jazz community. Rogers' role in the group, while no less important, was more hybrid in nature, doubling melody lines with Goldberg, providing stability in otherwise turbulent territories and soloing with skill, as displayed during "Taurus" and "Aze's Bluzes."

Some brief remarks from Goldberg served as an introduction for "Yoyo," a Haitian folk tune that the pianist reworked for the quartet and used to close out the set. Goldberg discussed an impending trip to Haiti, and touched on the tragedy that the earthquake wrought there, but the sunny music that followed these remarks spoke of the irrepressible spirit that resides deep within the culture of that country. Turner returned to the fold, adding sultry sounds to the mix, as Goldberg delighted in mixing funk, Latin-leaning sounds and tropical allure into this one appealing package.

Familiarity, in the case of the members of Aaron Goldberg's Quartet, breeds respect—not contempt—and communication of the highest level, as consistently demonstrated during this roller coaster ride of a set.

Shop

More Articles

Read Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre Live Reviews Shirlee Temper At The Empress Theatre
by Walter Atkins
Published: April 30, 2017
Read SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club Live Reviews SFJAZZ Collective at the Music Box Supper Club
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: April 28, 2017
Read Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House Live Reviews Mark Hagan's Jazz Salon At The Old 76 House
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Anat Cohen at Davidson College Live Reviews Anat Cohen at Davidson College
by Perry Tannenbaum
Published: April 27, 2017
Read Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's Live Reviews Kneebody at Johnny Brenda's
by Mike Jacobs
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall" Live Reviews Midge Ure at Revolution Music Hall
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Chris Isaak at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury" Live Reviews Chris Isaak at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Barranquijazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Barranquijazz Festival 2016
by Mark Holston
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland" Live Reviews Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "The Julian Lage Trio at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews The Julian Lage Trio at SFJAZZ
by David Becker
Published: September 13, 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!