Brad Goode Quintet

That's Right!

origin 82764


iTunes - $9.90

MUSIC REVIEW BY Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online


Neither trumpeter Brad Goode nor tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts could be called underrated, but both of them deserve wider recognition. Both men are brilliant talents, and along with an outstanding rhythm section, they have formed a superb jazz quintet capable of a broad range of styles and genres. "That's Right", their new release for Origin, was recorded after a successful concert at the 2018 Jazz Educators Network conference in Dallas, and it presents the group in a varied repertoire encompassing standards, originals, blues, straight-ahead and progressive jazz. The opening track, pianist Adrean Farrugia's "Half Moon" starts out with a bouncy rhythm that sounds like a lift from a pop-jazz recording of the late 1970s, but Watts completely transforms the piece with his boundary-stretching solo. Similarly, the style adapts soloist by soloist on Goode's intriguing original, "Regret", with the trumpeter playing haunting exploratory lines, followed by Watts digging into the changes from an opposite direction. "Perplexity" is one of Goode's polytonal pieces, where the soloists play over a sequence of stacked chords, which usually makes them sound as if they are playing in a different key than the rhythm section. Farrugia, Goode, Watts and drummer Adam Nussbaum each find ways to present a different approach to this formidable challenge. On "Blues in the Night", the group reduces the chord sequence to a pair of vamps, with Goode discovering all sorts of interesting note choices and Watts ratcheting up the intensity with flurries of notes. The final vamp is exhilarating, with the two horns matching each other's peaks, phrase by phrase. Bassist Kelly Sill contributed the waltz "A Sense of Fairness" and his solo leads in unexpected and delightful directions. Nussbaum's extraordinary cymbal work transforms this work through color, timbre and dynamics. He anticipates the soloists with great accuracy, so that his accents enhance their statements. Watts scored his funky original "Letter from Home" with the tenor melody above the trumpet harmony, but the tenorman's authoritative voice overcomes the upside-down scoring and leads the listener to the melody line. The quintet has a lot of fun with this tune, devouring the changes while hitting all of the composition's inherent accents. Nussbaum's tune "We Three" is a stunner, and this version incorporates a unique triple improvisation between piano, trumpet and tenor. Goode's "Who Parked the Car" inspires fine solos by the entire group, Billy Eckstine's "I Wanna Talk About You" revisits the polytonal technique (with significantly different results than before) and the disc ends with Von Freeman's "Jug Ain't Gone", a blues which Goode uses each week to close his weekly student-friendly jam here in Colorado. The present version offers splendid curtain calls to each member of the quintet. With its members scattered across the country, it may be a challenge to gather this band for a tour, but when they do appear, seek them out - their music holds all kinds of opportunity for creativity and expansion.

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