Brad Goode

Chicago Red


MUSIC REVIEW BY Robert Ratajczak, LongPlay: RadioJAZZ - Poland


Although trumpeter Brad Goode's last years were spent in Colorado, his musical consciousness is always associated with a distinctive Chicago jazz sound. Goode recently returned to his native Chicago, where he graduated years ago from DePaul University, and recorded his first album. Currently, there are weekly concerts at the legendary Green Mill club with local musicians (such as Von Freeman playing there every week until the end of the 90's, and the legendary virtuoso Hammond´┐Żw-Chris Foreman plays there today.)

During the quarter, much time has elapsed since the release of his first album Shock of the New (1988), and much has changed, but the music from the trumpeter today transcends genre combining old with new. As always, Goode is largely inspired by the proven bebop and hardbop masters and uses them as the basis for his musical explorations. An excellent return of the prodigal son was released in February of 2013 by Origin Records with his ninth album, named for his nickname which he obtained in recent years: Chicago Red (2013).

Though from the beginning panels dealing with modern production and new songs (with two exceptions: "St. Louis Blues" and "Vesti La Giubba"), the music often makes an impression dating back to the 70's. With great respect, Goode combines the jazz tradition with various innovative solutions, which constitute a unique originality of his musical proposal in 2013. Goode's compositions also allow for good harmony and a unique bond between the musicians in the sextet, largely derived from different musical backgrounds. Bill Kopper plays the Indian sitar and Rony Barrak is on exotic drums; they combine with the trumpet leader to form a kind of symbiosis of Eastern culture and the musical tradition of the typical American jazz sound.

After the first two original compositions on the album, there is an extremely interesting and uncommon interpretation of the immortal standard "St. Louis Blues" with a perfect combination of sitar and trumpet sounding like a frenzied dixieland leader. The real surprise is the inclusion in the repertoire of the lyrical opera theme "Vesti La Giubba" from the opera Pagliacci Ruggiero Leoncavallo.

It is worth noting the unusual way they use the structure of the arrangements of individual tracks on the Indian sitar. Bill Kopper treats the sitar without some kind of unnecessary "artificial" forced sound but finds a proper use of the instrument in jazz, and we will treat it simply as a full voice in improvisation. Kopper's sitar technique is very similar to the guitar, thereby creating a new quality within the music. How important Kopper is in the sextet is seen even during the free, impressionistic playing on the title track, which, along with Goode, creates an unusual tandem improvisation, or during "If Spirals Had Corners" when a more "sculpted" Kopper plays his stunning solo in the fourth and fifth minute. In the second of these tracks we have a great opportunity to hear Bijoux Barbarosy (bass), Paa Kow and Rony Barrak (drums and darbouka.)

"Intervallistic" is one of the clearest references to the aesthetics of the second half of the electric jazz of the 70's, and also a real six-minute gem on the album, decorated with outstanding impressions and really great solo trumpet and guitar playing with a wonderfully archaic-sounding electric piano in the backing. "All Fall Down" is another jewel in the crown of the whole album. Again, the solo bass, electric piano in the background and Paa Kow on drums are outstanding.
Rounding off the album is the nearly 11-minute "Cats In The Yard," which gives an extraordinary amount of space for all the musicians on this excellent composition.

Both a clean and crystalline trumpet tone and a more dark, damp sound on some songs ("What Happens In Space City," "St. Louis Blues," "Chicago Red," "All Fall Down") are an opportunity for the trumpeter to show his own fascinating personality. Chicago Red recalls that, despite Brad Goode's "itinerant" lifestyle in recent years, he really (like Jazz) still lives in Chicago, while already today we can talk about how his new album is one of the finest albums of the year.
My encore after first hearing it was: "Intervallistic" and "All Fall Down."





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