Taking a risk is difficult no matter what field of art you choose. In Brad Goodeʼs new release, Polytonal Dance Party, there are abundant risks taken from the first track to the last. Exploring the more avant-garde side of his repertoire, Goodeʼs work on this album is a far cry from his previous albums, such as, Toy Trumpet and his collaborations with Von Freeman. The inside out qualities of the other recordings are set aside and not even accounted for in this latest show of power. Bradʼs ability has never been truly questioned as heʼs one of the best trumpet players when it comes to range and technique. His style and arrangements throughout the tunes on Polytonal are reminiscent of the Don Ellis disco days of jazz--complex and best appreciated after the second or third listening if youʼre not in the know.
Tunes gathered in this collection such as Betcha by Golly Wow and the lesser known Stevie Wonder tune, Golden Lady are pushed to the edge of their harmonic limits as line after line is piled on top of eachother until the fabric heʼs woven is too dense to see through. His side men, Jeff Jenkins on piano, Ken Walker on bass, Anthony Lee on drums and Bill Kopper on guitar and sitar, sound more like theyʼre struggling to keep in line with his warped and distinctive treatment of the tunes, but eventually pull their struggle into a show of power matching Bradʼs original thoughts.
This is a must have for the die-hard Goode fans out there. The recording quality is superb, Matt Jorgensen and the guys at Origin, have produced another winner. The solos, tunes and arrangements are one-of-a-kind and although arenʼt easily digested by the common ear, they are intelligent and solid statements. I have the feeling that this album will be one that although baffling critics in its present day release, will have them questioning the very existence of harmonic structure in the years to come