Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Larry Goldings - Moonbird

Like Barbara Dennerlein, Larry Goldings was among the few organists who, in the 1980s and '90s, refused to stick to a grits-and-gravy approach to the instrument. This isn't to say that Goldings has escaped Jimmy Smith's influence altogether or that he lacks funk, blues, and soul-jazz credentials -- one of his employers, after all, was Maceo Parker, who spent many years in James Brown's band. But Goldings hasn't ignored the post-bop challenges that Larry Young presented, and Young's influence can be felt on Moonbird. Joined by drummer Bill Stewart and the Grant Green-influenced guitarist Peter Bernstein, Goldings delivers a rewarding post-bop date that will hardly be mistaken for Smith-minded soul-jazz. Goldings originals like the congenial "Christine," the intriguing "Empty Oceans," and the cerebal "Xoloft" aren't innovative -- 35 years earlier, Young was playing post-bop on the Hammond B-3. But Goldings nonetheless comes across as his own man, and his refusal to be yet another Jimmy Smith clone is commendable. The Bostonian also deserves applause for successfully transforming Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" and Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock" into improvisatory jazz -- at a time when too many jazzmen were content to play the same old Cole Porter and Irving Berlin songs time and time again, Goldings had enough imagination to find the jazz potential in pop/rock songs that more myopic improvisers were ignoring. Not quite a gem but definitely solid, Moonbird is a CD that post-bop fans will enjoy. - by Alex Henderson, AMG

I definitely agree with the listeners who locate this trio in the "cool" school. They bring to mind some of my all-time favorites: Paul Desmond group with Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery Trio, and, of course, Bill Evans Trio. All three musicians are masters of the 3 "S's": smoothness, soulfulness,& swing, and the 3 "T's": taste, touch, tone. Anyone who thinks that jazz has just gone downhill fast since John Coltrane died, NEEDS to hear this group (& others). As a guitarist, I'd like to point out that Peter Bernstein is as spectacularly musical as anyone playing today. And, thankfully, he doesn't play a million notes-- focuses more on tone, feel, melody. The most amazing thing, however, really is the group interplay. Three fantastic musicians who, together, lift each other to sublime musical heights. They listen, leave space, and react to each other beautifully. If you like extremely musical, melodic jazz in a small group setting, with an "after hours" feel, you should love this. - by stranger2himself, Amazon.com

Artist: Larry Goldings Trio
Album: Moonbird
Year: 1999
Label: Palmetto
Runtime: 54:54

1.  Crawdaddy (Larry Goldings) 5:33
2.  Moonbird (Larry Goldings) 6:51
3.  Woodstock (Joni Mitchell) 10:21
4.  Christine (Larry Goldings) 5:15
5.  Empty Oceans (Larry Goldings) 5:08
6.  Xoloft (Larry Goldings) 7:28
7.  Comfort Zone (Larry Goldings) 5:41
8.  I Think It's Going to Rain Today (Randy Newman) 5:39
9.  Empty Oceans (reprise) (Larry Goldings) 2:54

Larry Goldings (Hammond Organ)
Peter Bernstein (Guitar)
Bill Stewart (Drums, Cymbals, Gongs)


  1. a very welcome upgrade!
    thank you!

  2. Very Nice. Many thanks

  3. Many many thanks !!!
    Excellent album !!!


  4. Thanks !!!




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