Monday, April 21, 2014

Mack Goldsbury's Quintet featuring Maciej Fortuna, Live at CoCo's

Working at Cadence as a review writer for many years, I learned that there are so many artists out there deserving greater recognition or working in what comes down to downright obscurity that I could no longer afford to say I knew the scene in and out. The arrogance of ignorance can never be a good thing. But it is especially detrimental in a music that unfolds itself primarily in real-time. So I guess you could say that being exposed to a wealth of rather unknown artists has humbled me.

So now as I continue on and today address a Bob Rusch Cadence Jazz release by a group I did not previously know, I remember that one can never know it all, that one learns by remaining open to the unknown.

Today we have Mack Goldsbury and his Quintet, Live at CoCo's (Cadence Jazz 1245). These are players I don't believe I've heard previous to this recording. I know them now! They are a hard-bop-and-after contemporary ensemble holding forth live in a small club in El Paso. The tunes are band originals, good blowing things, with the addition of "Autumn Leaves" and Monk's "Straight, No Chaser".

The presence of guitarist Shaun Mahoney in place of a pianist opens up the sound and gives the rhythm section a chance to burn up the swinging turf as they might in a pianoless trio, only of course there are three soloists on top in Mack Goldsbury on tenor and soprano, Maciej Fortuna on trumpet, and Mahoney on guitar when he isn't lightly comping. Erik Unsworth (upright bass) and Ricky Malichi (drums) have the field clear, then, and they take advantage with an infectious drive that makes it all foundational.

All three front-liner soloists have fire, guts and soul, and evoke the tradition while taking ownership of it for their time in the spotlight.

This is one fine set. It is where the hard bop rubber-meets-the-road and it has subtlety, too. It's a band I would gladly go hear, and yet I knew virtually nothing of them prior to the recording.

Needless to say it's a good one. Listen and learn! Meet new artists and you'll grow. Perfect example.

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