Trumpeter Brad Goode pulls a neat trick with this disc. He's taken a deliberately difficult approach to composing and arranging, then makes it sound fun rather than academic or pretentious. These 11 tracks contain enough polytonal harmonies to make a modernist-classical composer proud, but as the title suggests, you can danced to the music, as well.
Goode's method is most noticeable in his covers, especially on the '70s soul classic "Betcha By Golly Wow." Guitarist Bill Kopper and pianist Jeff Jenkins play competing harmonies throughout, creating a slightly disorienting feel underneath Goode's straightforward lines on muted trumpet. Not just a
gimmick, this approach makes the well-worn tune sound fresh. And the same thing works on the pop staple "Going Out of My Head" and Stevie Wonder's "Golden Lady."
But the effect is most interesting on five original compositions. The steady grooves and electronic effects call Dave Douglas to mind, except Goode is more naturally melodic. Pieces such as "Background Theme of Life" and "The Snake Charmer" feature strong hooks, but the dueling chords that underlie these tunes
provide much-needed tension.
You don't have to be very adventurous to explore Goode's territory. For all its underlying complexity, this music is completely accessible.