Wham! That’s how this one starts. Trumpet right in, with Dana Hall’s unrestrained drumming soon taking over, and a fearsome re-entry from the leader’s trumpet, fiery and eventually flaring till the presumably heated up Kelly Sill sets forth on bass, with Adrian Farrugia still champing at the bridle on piano. The excitement of this essay in bitonality makes the title “Hypnotic Suggestion” seem a shade odd. This is young music.
Goode is in his early 40s, and has a very impressive website, with evidence of wide experience and considerable musical scope audible on tracks from a range of privately recorded, unissued tapes in a wide range of contexts, with some Chicago veterans who might be as little known as the younger trio on this set. He has a very full sound when muted, as on the Michel Legrand ballad “Once Upon a Summertime”, on which he plays rapid sensitive lines to help sober up beneficiaries of the opening track. Farrugia almost upstages his own piano solo in support of the bass solo.
Calmed down yet? The stately pace at which the quartet open Monk’s “Bemsha Swing” precedes an expression of controlled excitement which fully justifies the trust Goode puts in his men, the pianist phrasing very independently of the beat, with benefit of the bassist and drummer—who enable Goode too to do something of the same. A good Monk trumpeter needs roots, a big handsome swing player’s sound and much harmonic nous: present here, and correct. A drum solo usually enhances Monk, rhythmic detail to the fore. Plenty of drum presence too on the virtuoso “Just a Thought”, with a mighty buzz in Goode’s tone, some flaring, and rapid clean articulation, played in alternation. The pianist shows more enterprise in comments to the bass solo. Harvey Pekar’s notes mention a Miles Davis reference in Goode’s way of developing solos. The trumpet sound is very, very different.
Whatever Dizzy Gillespie meant when he referred to Goode as “Little Red Rodney,” the brilliance of sound certainly is one possibility. “Thinking of You” is a fast medium demonstration, and since the bass and piano solos aren’t specially subdued, it’s clear that when the trumpeter comes back he’ll need to enter big.
So much trumpet, and the rapid tonguing which opens “Beautiful Love” does suggest somebody definitely “up.” I’m reminded of a gig long ago at which Hannibal Marvin Peterson, whose name I’ve not seen in ages, couldn’t quite get down to playing a ballad. Farrugia seems desperate to try here, struggling for some peace against crazed drumming. The growly flaring trumpet does seem excessive.
By the time the ancient warhorse closer “Crazy Rhythm” opens with showy, out-of-tempo trumpet, and the pianist goes into technical display after having made a nice start to the number, hopes of higher rewards from this set seem to have faded from initial hopes. So after listening I go back to the beautiful muted sound on “I Can’t Forget About”, and Dana Hall’s drumming still seems to have been loud. And Brad Goode seems as elated as on the first and indeed the last numbers. This doesn’t disqualify this new CD from a serious commendation, but it loses a few points with me for lacking an ideal sensitivity. Goode has everything else, and if you demand excitement he has it. Probably he also demands it, but where it is a good thing on some of this set there is overall too much of it at the expense of other values.
// Notes from the Road
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