This is straight-ahead jazz with, as the cover art intimates, ECM-ish flavors and inclinations, not so much in that glacial chamber wont the killer label's famed for but rather the kind of enticing blend of the staid and the innovative so difficult to maintain. Tom Goehring's band is a front-slotted horns affair (Goehring on trumpet and fluegelhorn, Roger Rosenberg on saxes and bass clarinet [one can never get enough of that instrument!]) with HUGE contributions from pianist Dave Leonhardt, who possesses a very crafted vocabulary and phrasing ability. Though the front threesome is naturally more prominent than the rhythm section, none of that lead trio hogs up airspace, and things flow smoothly from one voice to another, players rotating in and around whomever's taking a solo.
Four of the nine songs here are Goehring's and extremely well composed, standing solidly with materials by Dizzy, Brel & Shuman, Mercer & de Paul, and others. The listener, then, is struck by the largely faithful reading of the very popular 60's hit Grazing in the Grass. The long mid-section of soloing is so at one with the breezy élan of the original that you'd swear every note had been penned by the composers. That attitude, though, prevails throughout the disc: no grandstanding, no theatrics, no carnival barkers, just confident, mature, multi-harmonic readings.
Goehring's a member of the widely hailed Darcy James Argue's Secret Society (here), a group appreciably more eclectic, composed of a very solid 18-members with full grounding in jazz's heyday and thus one sees where the trumpeter would gel readily in many environments. The rest of the Goehring band has played with Stan Getz, Steely Dan, Fathead Newman, Miles, Chick Corea, and so on through a long credits sheet. No one here's a newbie and nary a measure goes by that doesn't show that clearly. Immense respect for, and love of, the form is evident through the CD's 65 minutes, so much so that the term 'august' might even be used.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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