Brad Goode | Nature Boy

Delmark Records • www.delmark.com

Mainstream is an area of the jazz world that I’ve not fully explored. For the most part, I tend to find sameness in that department and a sort of blandness that is as unaffecting as it is strikingly boring. Let’s face it, too many players are so head over heels with the past, they forget about the present. Having said that, Chicago-boy, Colorado-based trumpeter Brad Goode luckily falls outside of this category. So maybe his style is something that we’ve heard before in the music of Miles Davis and Lee Morgan, but still, having this music around is somehow very relevant. To know that someone is treading the traditional path is even now crucial.

Goode’s quartet includes pianist Jeff Jenkins, and a rhythm section made up of bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and percussionist Todd Reid. Before we get to Goode, let me tell you about his sidemen. Weidenmueller comes across like a driven individual, playing the keys with ample intensity, though that is for the most part played at simmering levels, to allow the leader to take the spotlight. He shines best when Goode takes a break for a minute or two to catch his breath. That’s when the rhythm section hits the hardest as accompaniment to his ivory seduction. Goode is more or less a romantic. His tones are subtle, soft and tend to tickle the eardrums. Though he does take a few ferocious solos, he’s most comfortable in the role of a player who is keen on pleasing those with a soft spot for tender music. By no stretch of the imagination is this fluff, but it’s certainly not over-the-top playing either.

The musical programme is split equally between Goode originals and cover versions — Eddie Harris, Cole Porter, Eden Ahbez, etc. In taking the middle ground, Goode comes out on top on this very pleasing album, best played in the dark, close to someone you love.

Tom Sekowski – May 2008

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Tom Sekowski
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