PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.

Jeff Golub: Dangerous Curves

Scott Hudson

Jeff Golub

Dangerous Curves

Label: GRP
US Release Date: 2000-06-20

Why is it that we're always stunned when one of our favorite artists jumps from one genre to another? Why would anyone ever leave the exciting profitable sanctuary of rock music to enter into an idiom that doesn't lend itself to great financial reward or expansive commercial exposure? Why would former Billy Idol/Vince Neil guitarist Steve Stevens foray into flamenco or guitar great Randy Rhoads decide months before he died, that he was going to leave the enormously successful Ozzy Osbourne gig in favor of furthering his classical guitar studies? It just doesn't make a lot of sense. But on the other hand, it makes perfect sense. It's the longing for an artist to return to his roots; to the music that inspired them to take up the instrument in the first place.

Steve Stevens first guitar instructor was a flamenco guitarist, Randy Rhoads was inspired early by classical guitar music. Guitarist Jeff Golub is no different. As a hotshot rock guitarist, Golub spent the early eighties achieving success with Billy Squier and from 1988-95 touring and recording with Rod Stewart. He has worked with artists like Peter Wolf (J. Giels), ex-Baby's vocalist John Waite, Vanessa Williams and Ashford & Simpson while also working as one of New York's most called upon session players and sidemen. While his fans knew him primarily as a rock guitarist, Jeff Golub's passion has always been the blues and his later jazz inclinations. His earliest influences were jazz and blues artists such as Wes Montgomery, B.B. King, Charlie Parker, and Albert King.

When Golub left Rod Stewart's band he formed the contemporary jazz outfit Avenue Blue and it's self-titled debut release was an immediate success, as were subsequent releases Naked City and Nightlife. On the heels of Golub's critically acclaimed 1999 solo offering Out of the Blue comes his latest and most challenging release to date, Dangerous Curves. What made this such a challenging record was the fact that it was recorded in just eight days, tracking it live and mixing after each session. The result of this approach is a buoyant, lively record that sounds as if were recorded in the cozy confines of a smoky jazz/blues club.

The direction of this record as Golub explains "was a kind of minimalist, soul-jazz approach featuring acoustic bass, vintage keyboards and me playing mostly hollow-body jazz guitar." In addition to Golub the record features Mitch Forman (keyboards), Lincoln Goines (bass), Steve Ferrone (drums), Dave Woodford (sax, flutes), Lee Thornburg (trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone), Kevin Savigar (Hammond B-3), Luis Conte (percussion) and guest appearance by acoustic guitarist Peter White. While the record is Golub's solo effort, the feel is that of a cooperative spirit with each musician enabled to shine when called upon.

Their are some outstanding tracks on this record. The bebop-tinged title track features Golub's resonate silky-smooth lines bouncing across the speakers while Goines' funky bass lines and Woodford and Thornburg's brass inflections carry the action in an uplifting direction. The soul-inspired "Droptop" features Golub's knack for sweet improvisation. A real standout is "No Two Ways About It" featuring acoustic whiz Peter White doubling Golub's melodic lines with bright and brisk clarity. Then there is the wonderfully subdued "Gone But Not Forgotten" and three carefully selected cover tunes in "Mr. Magic,"a tribute to Grover Washington, Jr., King Curtis' "Soul Serenade" and rather unique version of Smashmouth's "Walking on the Sun."

Whether it's rock, jazz or blues, Jeff Golub is always in his element and his musical boundaries limitless. Dangerous Curves proves that whatever musical terrain he wishes to explore, he conquers with fire and passion.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.





How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.


CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.


Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.


While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.


Peter Frampton Asks "Do You Feel Like I Do?" in Rock-Solid Book on Storied Career

British rocker Peter Frampton grew up fast before reaching meteoric heights with Frampton Comes Alive! Now the 70-year-old Grammy-winning artist facing a degenerative muscle condition looks back on his life in his new memoir and this revealing interview.


Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.


Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.


Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.


In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.


The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.


The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.


The 20 Best Tom Petty Songs

With today's release of Tom Petty's Wildflowers & All the Rest (Deluxe Edition), we're revisiting Petty's 20 best songs.

Joshua M. Miller

The 11 Greatest Hits From "Greatest Hits" Compilations

It's one of the strangest pop microcosms in history: singles released exclusively from Greatest Hits compilations. We rounded 'em up and ranked 'em to find out what is truly the greatest Greatest Hit of all.


When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.


20 Hits of the '80s You Might Not Have Known Are Covers

There were many hit cover versions in the '80s, some of well-known originals, and some that fans may be surprised are covers.


The Reign of Kindo Discuss Why We're Truly "Better Off Together"

The Reign of Kindo's Joseph Secchiaroli delves deep into their latest single and future plans, as well as how COVID-19 has affected not only the band but America as a whole.


Tommy Siegel's Comic 'I Hope This Helps' Pokes at Social Media Addiction

Jukebox the Ghost's Tommy Siegel discusses his "500 Comics in 500 Days" project, which is now a new book, I Hope This Helps.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.