446

Aaron Goldberg: Worlds

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Man, am I glad that pianist Aaron Goldberg and I never tried to apply for the same job. I'm not a musician, but you should see this guy's CV. While he was double-majoring at Harvard in history and science plus mind, brain and behavior, he was working with Betty Carter, gigging weekends in Boston and winning all kinds of awards, including the formidable-sounding Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellowship. After graduation (magna cum laude), he moved to New York and played with a bunch of top names, among them Joshua Redman.

What next? Goldberg was a member of Wynton Marsalis's quintet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Ah, well, now we're onto something: he's one of those young fogeys, all chops and no soul. But, you know, the problem with this critique of the young conservatives is that, sure, Stanley Crouch (an intellectual guru to some) can be a pompous ass, but most of the players are damn good and indeed quite soulful. (And don't misunderstand me, Mr. Crouch: I mean that you are an often brilliant pompous ass.)

So, what about Worlds, Goldberg's third recording as leader? Is he stuck in the past? It's true that, listening to this album, you might think history had stopped with Everybody Digs Bill Evans. But for as long as the record is playing, these guys will have you convinced that maybe history should have stopped in 1958.

Goldberg's playing is just delectable from start to finish. Admirers of Cecil Taylor or Marilyn Crispell might feel a kind of guilty pleasure digging his apparently retrograde style, but no guilt is necessary, and there's nothing retrograde about the style, either. The upside of the postmodern character of contemporary jazz is that all these stylistic strata can be sampled simultaneously. If you value the great piano trios, of which Evans's was surely the avatar, then go ahead and wallow in this trio's mastery of the idiom. And Goldberg's embrace of explicit and implicit Brazilian references contributes mightily to the unity and exuberance with which that mastery is expressed.

An essential ingredient in this record's success is the endlessly inventive interplay among the trio members: bassist Reuben Rogers and especially drummer Eric Harland play just as well as the leader, reminding us of the critical role played by bassists and drummers in great piano trios of times past. (Their CVs are not included in the press kit, but I'm reasonably confident that between them they hold a couple of biotechnology patents and/or Ivy League diplomas.)

Plenty of young players are remarkably good sidemen, but it's relatively unusual that so young a leader can convey and communicate so coherent a musical vision over the length of an album.

Track Listing: Lambada de Serpente; Taurus; Kianda'S Song; Unstablemates; Modinha; Salvador; Oam's Blues; Inutil Paisagem; Oud to Omer; Between Worlds.

Personnel: Aaron Goldberg: piano; Reuben Rogers: bass; Eric Harland: drums; Luciana Souza: vocals (3); Kurt Rosenwinkel: guitar (9).

Title: Worlds | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Radio
Album Reviews
Live From Philadelphia
Interviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
At the Edge of the World

At the Edge of the...

Sunnyside Records
2019

buy
The Now

The Now

Sunnyside Records
2015

buy
Yes!

Yes!

Sunnyside Records
2012

buy
Bienestan

Bienestan

Sunnyside Records
2011

buy
Home

Home

Sunnyside Records
2010

buy
 

More to Come

Le Steak at Fillmore East
2009

buy

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019
Read Arc Album Reviews
Arc
By John Eyles
June 15, 2019
Read In The Face Of Chaos Album Reviews
In The Face Of Chaos
By Dan Bilawsky
June 14, 2019
Read Time Changes Album Reviews
Time Changes
By Karl Ackermann
June 14, 2019
Read Blacks And Blues Album Reviews
Blacks And Blues
By Chris May
June 14, 2019