Alex Goodman

Border Crossing

oa2 22130

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Bill Robertson, Saskatoon Star Phoenix

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Border Crossing: how appropriate a title is that for a genre-bending, genre-crossing gathering of jazz-ish tunes?

A young guitarist from Toronto, Goodman gets his opener, Acrobat, off to a slow start with those familiar squeaks of hands on the neck of the guitar. The other musicians chip in their own sounds, exploring textures, until they find their groove.

Felicity Williams brings a haunting vocal to match Michael Davidson's vibraphone and they do a moody balancing act, balancing the tune's title.

Family Breakfast opens with a repeated bass line, then a breezy woo-ooh vocal over vibes to put it in Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto, Brazilian beach territory — a nod to the Olympics. Fabio Ragnelli's drums really cover ground here, leading to a drums/bass/vibes workout.

With Thanks is another long tune with a slow start, Goodman's guitar noodling along until the sharp, piercing vocal brings the tune to attention. Goodman's fingers are very nimble over splashing cymbals in an overall sprightly song.

Eine Kleine Gigue is from Mr. Mozart with its Germanic feel, its trumpet-like vocal, and its cello solo and bowed bass. Nice touch.

By Collateral Damage, the sixth track, Williams' mostly wordless vocal floating along on top of the melody becomes wearying. There's this basic, post-modern bop, at which these players are very good, being accompanied by an ethereal ooohh, also which is technically good, but which need only be applied in measured doses.






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