Review by Patrick Van de Wiele
'The latest project by the American trombonist Eric Goletz will not be released until February 10, but I have already received a review copy. Goletz grew up in a musical environment, as his father was a professional pianist and arranger. Eric was drawn to the trombone at the age of fourteen, although he had studied classical piano, guitar and music theory since he was six. He found the transition very easy, and started composing at a young age. Soon he was writing and arranging music for the various groups in which he was active. Eric was intrigued by jazz mixed with other musical styles such as rock, funk, Latin etc. He started to develop his own vision, with the trombone at the forefront. After moving to New York, he began composing and arranging music for radio and TV spots, as well as various singers and ensembles, soundtracks for independent films, while making his way as a freelance musician. During the nineties he led a fusion group with his original music.
On this new CD he gives well-known standards a new twist, and that in different music styles. The accompaniment varies from trio to septets, and some are joined by a string quartet. Those musicians include Don Braden (sax), Lajuan Carter (vocals), Jim Ridl (piano), Henry Heinitsch (guitar), Steve Johns (drums), Brian Glassman (bass), and Joe Mowatt (percussion). The album opens with Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time," where the harmonies go up and down, while bebop reigns supreme on "Just in Time." The well-known 'Caravan' passes in a separate version, after which 'Nutville' received a Latin arrangement. The melody of 'Nature Boy' kept haunting Eric, and here's a vocal version. Blues then comes into play on 'Train Shuffle', followed by 'Jungle Juice'. Up-tempo bop returns on 'Mayreh', after which Michel Legrand's 'The Summer Knows' received a string arrangement. Gershwin's 'Summertime' could not be missed, but in an up-tempo Latin version. Stanley Turrentine's 'Sugar' is performed here by a trio of trombone, bass and drums. The sung classic 'Windmills of Your Mind' leans towards blues, and Stevie Wonder's ballad 'Overjoyed' is one of the best tracks. 'Now's the Time Outro' closes.
Eric Goletz has thus placed his trademark on these stands, and I imagine myself listening to him in an intimate jazz club. Maybe something for you?'