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Trombonist Eric Goletz's "STANDARD-IZED!,"

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    Posted: 29 Jan 2023 at 11:15am




Releases February 10, 2023 on Consolidated Artists Publications (CAP)



ERIC GOLETZ - Standard-ized cover




On STANDARD-IZED!, the newest project by ERIC GOLETZ, the trombonist re-imagines modern jazz standards with hip arrangements that fuse his contemporary jazz sound with swing, Latin, and funk. Goletz is not only a virtuoso trombonist, he is also a first-rate arranger and composer. His first two albums, A New Light (2022) and his debut album, Into the Night (2021), released after spending 30 years as a composer and sideman, largely comprised his original compositions. All About Jazz says of A New Light, “A remarkable recording, up and edgy and at the highest level of musicianship … no one will call this big band sterile or devoid of excitement. Bracing, to say the least.”


Although Goletz is a prolific composer, for STANDARD-IZED he decided to focus his creative endeavors on music composed by other artists, like Charlie Parker, Horace Silver, Michel Legrand, and other jazz luminaries. The idea for the album grew out of a casual, cocktail hour gig with his band. Goletz relates, “We were told to play whatever we wanted, so we decided to just have fun and pick tunes that we wanted to blow on. We had such a great time that I decided to do a studio recording of four of the songs to use as a demo get more gigs just like it.”


When the recording session was over, the musicians enjoyed themselves so much that they decided to record a whole album of standards. STANDARD-IZED features some of the finest New York-based players including HENRY HEINITSH (guitar), JIM RIDL (piano), BRIAN GLASSMAN (acoustic and electric bass), MARCO PANASCIA (electric bass), STEVE JOHNS (drums), and JOE MOWATT (percussion).


Goletz likes to create different textures on his albums by mixing the instrumentation on different compositions. For STANDARD-IZED, he wanted to use a different combination of sounds and brought on board renowned saxophonist DON BRADEN and vocalist LAJUAN CARTER, who has been a backing vocalist, both in live performances and on recordings, for scores of A-list artists, including Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Harry Connick Jr., Michael Feinstein, and many more. Goletz also includes a full string section on four of the tracks.


Goletz wanted the album to have the energy and ambience of a live performance. His arrangements are simpler and a bit more open than on his previous recordings, giving more space for spontaneity. The band went into the studio with just a couple of rehearsals. With no overdubs or any digital gimmickry, Goletz wound up using the first take of more than half the numbers.


The album opens with Charlie Parker’s “Now Is the Time.” Goletz got the inspiration for the arrangement of this impromptu track at 3am on the morning of the first session. The track features Goletz and Braden trading fours with solos by Ridl and Heinitsh.


Goletz included three compositions by the inestimable Horace Silver, an up-tempo Latin version of “Nutville,” which also features Braden on soprano sax, “Jungle Juice,” which Goletz arranged in 5/4, and the up-tempo “Mayreh,” also featuring Braden.


Michel Legrand has written some of the most beautiful melodies in modern music, and Goletz includes two of his most iconic songs. Accompanied by a lush string arrangement, Goletz’s soulful playing perfectly captures the wistful melody of “The Summer Knows.” Goletz’s bluesy arrangement of “The Windmills of Your Mind” features a musical conversation between the trombone and Carter’s poignant vocals. Goletz is also an accomplished pianist and takes a turn on the keys on this number.


Goletz has always been captivated by the haunting melody of “Nature Boy,” which again features Carter’s vocals. He also plays piano on Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” backed by just Heinitsh on guitar and Mowatt on percussion.


Goletz and the band also do covers of Duke Ellington/Juan Tizol’s “Caravan,” Tom Harrell’s bluesy ”Train Shuffle,” an uptempo Latin version of Gershwin’s “Summertime” and Stanley Turrentine’s “Sugar,” performed by just trombone, bass, and drums, and featuring a hip, arco bass solo by Glassman.


Goletz puts his own stamp on the well-known tunes on STANDARD-IZED but pays respect to the composer’s original concepts. With its superb musicianship and open arrangements, STANDARD-IZED is the next best thing to listening to the Eric Goletz band in an intimate jazz club.


About Eric Goletz

Goletz has had a 30-year career as a studio musician and first-call horn player in New York City. He grew up in Denver but moved to New York City to pursue a career in music, where he quickly found work composing and arranging music for radio and TV commercials, and soundtracks for independent films. He also worked on many recording projects for different singers and ensembles, most 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.”


Goletz’s father was a pianist and big band arranger who wanted to share the gift of music with his children, and 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. He knew from then on that music was going to be his life’s work. His father took over his musical education and taught him jazz.

Goletz 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 he 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. Jazziz Magazine has hailed him as one of the top 10 unsigned jazz artists in the country.


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STANDARD-IZED! is set for release on February 10, 2023 on CAP Records and will be available everywhere.







Edited by snobb - 29 Jan 2023 at 11:19am
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