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Victor Gould — Clockwork (May 15, 2016)

Jeremy Pelt — Clockwork (May 15, 2016)

                   Victor Gould — Clockwork (May 15, 2016)
»♦♠♦»   Má hudební svět na provázku, ve své mysli a na konečcích prstů. Sám o sobě říká: “I write Melodies”. California–born jazz trumpeter with a knack for both straight–ahead and fusion–influenced jazz. Born: 4. November 1976
Location: New York, NY
Album release: May 15, 2016
Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent
Duration:     64:38
01 Clockwork     7:37
02 Room     7:07
03 Chaancé     5:21
04 Blue Dales     5:19
05 The Return      7:54
06 Apostle John     3:09
07 Apostle John     8:59
08 Sir Carter     0:45
09 Sir Carter     4:51
10 Nefertiti     5:36
11 Three Souls     8:07
℗ 2016 Fresh Sound Records
01 (feat. Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Myron Walden, Ben Williams, E.J. Strickland & Pedrito Martinez)
02 (feat. Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Myron Walden, Ben Williams & E.J. Strickland)
03 (feat. Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Myron Walden, Anne Drummond, Ben Williams, E.J. Strickland, Yoojin Park, Heejin Chang & Veronica Parrales)
04 (feat. Ben Williams, E.J. Strickland & Pedrito Martinez)
05 (feat. Godwin Louis, Ben Williams & E.J. Strickland)
06 (feat. Godwin Louis, Myron Walden, Yoojin Park, Heejin Chang & Veronica Parrales) [Prelude]
07 (feat. Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Myron Walden & E.J. Strickland) [Intro]
08 (feat. Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Myron Walden, Anne Drummond, Ben Williams, E.J. Strickland, Pedrito Martinez, Yoojin Park, Heejin Chang & Veronica Parrales)
09 (feat. Ben Williams & E.J. Strickland)
10 (feat. Ben Williams, E.J. Strickland)
11 (feat. Jeremy Pelt, Godwin Louis, Myron Walden, Ben Williams & E.J. Strickland)
»♦♠♦»   Victor Gould: piano;
»♦♠♦»   Jeremy Pelt: trumpet (1–3, 6–8, 11);
»♦♠♦»   Godwin Louis: alto saxophone (1–3, 5–8, 11);
»♦♠♦»   Myron Walden: tenor saxophone (1–3, 6–8, 11);
»♦♠♦»   Anne Drummond: flute (3, 7);
»♦♠♦»   Ben Williams: bass (1–5, 7, 9–11);
»♦♠♦»   E.J. Strickland: drums (1–5, 7–11);
»♦♠♦»   Pedrito Martinez: percussion (1, 4, 7);
»♦♠♦»   Yoojin Park: violin (3, 6, 7);
»♦♠♦»   Heejin Chang: viola (3, 6, 7);
»♦♠♦»   Veronica Parrales: cello (3, 6, 7).
»♦♠♦»   Sound engineer: Max Ross
»♦♠♦»   Mixing & mastering: Dave Darlington
»♦♠♦»   Photography: Anne Yatskevich
»♦♠♦»   Painting: Martel Chapman
»♦♠♦»   Co–producers: Victor Gould & Myron Walden
»♦♠♦»   Executive producer: Jordi Pujol                                © Photo by Sally Pritchard
»♦♠♦»   “It’s understandable that a jazz pianist might feel inclined, even obliged, to debut as a leader with a trio album. But Clockwork, the maiden voyage of Victor Gould, includes sextet arrangements, two pieces augmented with strings, and several percussion turns from Pedrito Martinez. There are piano trio showcases as well, but they are part of the mosaic, not the full picture. “I didn’t want to be locked in with instrumentation,” says Gould. “I’ve come to believe that the best orchestration is when you change instrumentation very often. So you could think of that in the scheme of one piece or a whole record.”
»♦♠♦»   The title Clockwork amplifies this point, suggesting that varied instrumentation can in fact yield great coherence. “Clockwork is many different elements working together,” notes Gould. “It’s the very definition of clockwork — the gears of a clock all working together to create something very intricate.” At the heart of it all is an extraordinary synergy between Gould, bassist Ben Williams and drummer E. J. Strickland. It’s consistent throughout the record but most starkly evident on the trio cuts.»♦♠♦»   Having made his mark in recent years as a sideman with Wallace Roney, Ralph Peterson, Donald Harrison, Louis Hayes, Vincent Herring, Eric Alexander and more, Gould has learned a thing or two about musical clockwork. A native of Los Angeles, he attended Berklee as an undergrad and then earned the high honor of a slot at Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz from 2009–2011. Studying alongside him at both these institutions was Godwin Louis, the alto saxophonist heard on this album, who happens to be one of Gould’s dearest friends.
»♦♠♦»   Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, who’s been hiring Gould in his own superb band of late, is a characteristically stirring soloist as well as a focused and dynamic ensemble presence on the sextet pieces. Myron Walden, playing soprano and tenor saxophones, took on an added role as co–producer: “Myron and I decided which would be the best song choices from my catalogue,” Gould recalls. “After that, he helped run the recording session and took charge of time management, so it lifted a lot of the stress from me.”
»♦♠♦»   Pelt plays flugelhorn on “Chaancé,” one of the two pieces to feature strings. Written and named after Gould’s wife, this lovely ballad finds the leader in a tensile give–and–take with the strings during his eloquent solo, blending with and responding to them but soaring with renewed intensity when they fall silent. By contrast, there’s an “apocalyptic” energy, to use Gould’s word, coursing through “Apostle John,” from the foreboding rubato of the prelude to the modal groove and intricate counterpoint of the piece itself. Anne Drummond adds just the right flavor on flute, almost sounding like a soprano voice.
»♦♠♦»   The string arrangements followed from Gould’s prior experience scoring for symphony orchestra (his original piece “Side Angle,” which doesn’t appear here). The sextet arrangements, for their part, were a result of his tenure at the Monk Institute, where he played with a six–piece dream band of fellow students. Along with the swinging, Latin–tinged title track we hear “Three Souls,” a tribute not only to the great Hank Jones but also to two people close to Gould who died around the same time (the fleeting reference to Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing” seems to imply a fourth soul). Another sextet piece, “Room 416,” is named for the Berklee dorm room that Gould shared with bassist and friend Peter Spear, who died tragically in 2014. “Peter was really good friends with Godwin as well, so I thought it was important for Godwin to take that lead melody in the A section and show some love.”
»♦♠♦»   “The Return,” a quartet number that features Louis again in radiant form, is Gould’s dedication to trumpeter Gregory Diaz, who struggled with embouchure problems at Berklee and was unable to play for a period of time. “Greg and I went to high school together as well and he was one of the best trumpet players I knew. I wrote this tune to encourage him — ‘The Return of Greg Diaz’ is its full name.”»♦♠♦»   “Sir Carter,” led off by an eccentric intro for horns and drums, is what one suspects: an homage to the great Ron Carter, who visited the Monk Institute for a week and had a profound impact on Gould and his fellow students. “Nefertiti” is of course a legendary Wayne Shorter piece that Carter himself played with the Miles Davis Quintet. Gould’s brisk 5/4 rendition gives it a straight–eighth–note patina and some added twists and turns, without ever sacrificing the tune’s hypnotic legato flavor. Here again the trio chemistry is substantial. Gould solos forcefully before yielding to the virtuosic Williams.
»♦♠♦»   Martinez adds his inimitable congas on “Blue Dales,” which Gould originally composed as an etude to practice independence but later turned into a song. Right away the congas add propulsion and color to the bright, staccato rhythms of the theme, so dazzlingly articulated by Williams and Strickland. The piece is a 16–bar minor blues with dramatic and clever harmonic movement, an ideal framework for improvising: Williams leads off, followed by Gould and finally Strickland over a tumultuous four–bar vamp.
»♦♠♦»   In the end it’s the combination of elements in Gould’s music — the hard–bop drive and harmonic adventure, the chamber–music refinement, the Latin tinge that Jelly Roll Morton theorized all those years ago — that makes Clockwork succeed on the level that it does. It couldn’t be clearer: Gould was ready, after years spent on numerous big–league bandstands, to take the reins and bring all his experience to bear, pursuing a sound deep in technical proficiency and flair but also expressive nuance and immersion in the jazz tradition. May those gears keep turning.” — David R. Adler, New York, March 2016
By DAN BILAWSKY, Published: July 13, 2016;  Score: ****
»♦♠♦»   https://www.allaboutjazz.com/clockwork-victor-gould-fresh-sound-new-talent-review-by-dan-bilawsky.php 
Label: http://www.freshsoundrecords.com/
Website: http://jeremypelt.net/
Website: http://www.victorgouldmusic.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/peltjazz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/victorgould

Victor Gould — Clockwork (May 15, 2016)


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