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Eric Goletz realizes a 30 year dream

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    Posted: 29 Dec 2021 at 9:25pm
Out January 21, 2022 on Consolidated Artists Publications

Virtuoso trombonist ERIC GOLETZ is releasing A NEW LIGHT, his second CD as a leader. After a 30-year career as a studio musician and first-call horn player in New York City, Goletz released his debut CD, Into the Nightin March of 2021. Reviewer Bill Donaldson says, “You have to give Eric Goletz credit for perseverance. And for virtuosity. And for creating music that reaches out to listeners while providing inimitable improvisational excellence. Into the Night is an uplifting, joyous album.”
Brimming with ideas and unstoppable energy, Goletz started working on A NEW LIGHT before his previous project was officially released. And like his previous release, A NEW LIGHT is an exciting, eclectic mix of musical styles that creates an infectious pastiche of sounds and textures.
Goletz’s multifarious background, experiences, and taste imbue his compositions and arrangements with a joie de vie enriched by his stellar musicianship. He began studying the piano when he was just six years old. His father was a pianist and big band arranger who wanted to share the gift of music with his children, so Goletz’s brother and sister both picked up an instrument at an early age and played with him in his band.
Goletz began studying classical piano, guitar, and music theory from the age of six with private teachers, but at the age of 14, he fell in love with the sound of the trombone in his father’s band, and he knew from then on that music was going to be his life’s work.
Goletz also began composing music at a young age and was soon writing and arranging music for the various groups he was involved with both in and out of school. Although his main focus was jazz, his tastes run the gamut of musical styles. Goletz says, “I think of music as having endless possibilities. It’s a journey where you can never be absolutely sure where it will lead. Although my background is in jazz and classical music, I spend much time listening to other forms of music such as pop, rock, Country, Motown, funk, Latin, and even Heavy Metal. There’s always something new to learn, and I try to keep an open mind to the simple joy of listening to music.”
Goletz grew up in Denver but moved to New York City to pursue his career, where he quickly found work composing and arranging for radio and TV commercials, soundtracks for independent films, album projects for many different singers and ensembles, and as a freelance jazz musician, notably with pianist Mike Longo’s State of the Art Jazz Ensemble, and with Sal Salvador, who was Stan Kenton’s former guitarist. Goletz played and wrote for Salvador’s album, Lorinda’s Kitchen.
Although he had a busy career as a sideman and studio musician, Goletz was brimming with his own creative ideas. He became intrigued with the sound of jazz fused with other styles of music, with the trombone as the lead instrument. There have been many great trombone recordings, but Goletz wanted to incorporate the traditional sound of the trombone in his own original, non-traditional musical setting.
In the ’90s, Goletz began to realize his vision by fronting a group led by both a tenor and bass trombone, that featured his original music and arrangements. He honed and developed his sound over several years, eventually releasing a sampler CD. Based on that release, Jazziz Magazine hailed him as one of the top 10 unsigned jazz artists in the country. The magazine also released a compilation CD that included Goletz’s original composition, “Night Child.”
Goletz wrote Into the Night with concepts that he had been developing for 25 years. Once the floodgate of ideas was opened, he had a torrent of creativity and wrote the arrangements for the new project in less than three months. On A NEW LIGHT, Goletz expands his original ideas with more complex arrangements, an expanded horn section, and a string section.
Goletz also made some changes to the core band. HENRY HEINITSH on guitar, STEVE JOHNS on drums, and JOE MOWATT on percussion appear on both albums. New additions include JIM RIDL on piano, ALLEN FARNHAM on keyboards, and MARCO PANASCIA on bass. A NEW LIGHT also features special guest RANDY BRECKER on trumpet and flugelhorn. Drummer Johns is a regular in Brecker’s band and introduced him to Goletz’s music. Brecker was very happy to participate on the new recording and appears on three compositions, “Dig,” “Greene Street Groove,” and “Don’t Gimme That.”
Goletz wrote all the compositions except for Miles Davis’ “Dig,” “Sunrise, Sunset” by Jerry Bock from Fiddler on the Roof, and “Song for Elizabeth” by Jonathan Butler. All the arrangements are by Goletz.
Goletz opens the album with “Prelude: Before the Light,” a lush jazz/classical composition that is somewhat reminiscent of George Gershwin. The “Prelude” introduces the melody of the opening number and title tune “A New Light,” a high energy, toe-tapping, big band number featuring Goletz’s melodic, beautifully articulated trombone sound. “The Edge of Night” has a driving jazz/rock feel. Goletz turns “Dig” into an up-tempo, Latin influenced number featuring a searing piano solo by Ridl and Brecker’s always hip, always tuneful trumpet playing. “Enchanted” is a romantic tune featuring the full band, while “Greene Street Groove” has a bluesy, funky groove. Goletz manages to keep the nostalgic, tender quality of “Sunrise, Sunset” while featuring a rock guitar solo by Heinitsh. Goletz takes down the temperature a bit on “Song for Elizabeth,” gentle love song, but kicks it into high gear again on “Don’t Gimme That,” featuring solos by Goletz, Brecker, and Farnham on keyboards. “The Mirror,” the penultimate tune, is a highly textured funk/jazz/rock number. Goletz closes the CD with “Postlude: After the Light,” which wraps up the CD with melodies and themes from all the other tunes on the disc.
Goletz’s arrangements are unique. With his solid chops as a musician and decades of working as a composer and arranger in a wide variety of musical venues and situations, it’s no wonder that his music is overflowing with a macrocosm of ideas. You can almost feel his rush of joy as he picks up his pen to get it all on paper.
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A New Light is set for release on January 21, 2022 on CAP Records and will be available everywhere.
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