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On his second recording as leader, Aaron Goldberg unfolds seven original stories and two classic pieces. His trio works in close proximity, with an intuitive feel. There's a fair amount of freedom for each artist. Bass and drums provide independent lines that complement the pianist's thoughts. Goldberg, 27, shares a thorough understanding of the blues, Latin rhythms, harmonic placement, and woodshedding keyboard mastery. And he swings! Before studying with Betty Carter, the pianist graduated magna cum laude from Harvard with a degree in History and Science. His concentration was in Mind, Brain, and Behavior.
John Coltrane's "Equinox" opens with a dreamy landscape that allows plenty of space for the trio to reflect. Gradually, they move into open territory with a cool drive. All three contribute fresh interpretations. Like most of the session, this one ebbs and flows through changing moods. Goldberg's originals paint placid scenes that contain little ripples here and there. "MAO's Blues" is a tribute to friendsMarcandOmer, a bassist and a drummer. "You Are the Sunshine of My Life" takes off with restrained passion. It's a quiet album, full of introspection, and free enough to allow your thoughts to follow their own course.
Track Listing: Sea Shantey; Isabella Meets Wally; If and Only If; You Are the Sunshine of My Life; 'Todd's Dream; PB and J; MAO's Blues; Second Chance; Equinox.
Personnel: Aaron Goldberg: piano; Reuben Rogers: bass; Eric Harland: drums.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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