December 15, 2021
The MusicalMemoirs Blog by Dee Dee McNeil
“ERIC GOLETZ – “A NEW LIGHT” – Consolidated Artist Publications, LLC (CAP Records) Eric Goletz, trombone/keyboards/composer/arranger; Jim Ridl, piano; Allen Farnham, keyboards; Henry Heinitsh, guitar; Marco Panasola, bass; Steve Johns, drums; Joe Mowatt, percussion; Will DeVos, French horn; Bob Magnuson, alto saxophone; TRUMPETS: Tony Gorruso, Freddie Maxwell, Kent Smith. TROMBONES: Erick Storckman, Chris Rinaman & Jonathan Greenberg, bass trombone; Matt Ingman, tuba; THE STRINGS: Robin Zeh & Paul Woodiel, violins; Michael Roth & David Gold, violas; Sarah Hewitt-Roth, cello.
"This spirited, big band album features trombonist, Eric Goletz. It’s scheduled for release January 21, 2022. You won’t be able to stuff your Christmas stocking with this upbeat treasure, but do make a note to yourself to look for it first of next year. Here is a production bursting with energy and percussive excitement that features all original compositions by Eric Goletz with the exception of “Dig” by Miles Davis, the familiar “Sunrise Sunset” and “Song for Elizabeth” written by Jonathan Butler. Goletz grew up in Denver, Colorado but moved to New York City, pursuing his musical career, where he instantly became busy as an in-demand sideman and studio musician. Eric loved composing early on and wrote for Sal Salvador’s album, “Lorinda’s Kitchen.” (Salvador was Stan Kenton’s former guitarist.) With the release of “A New Light,” Goletz shows an expansion of his original ideas and compositions by creating complex arrangements for an expanded horn section and adding a string ensemble. He is dynamite on his trombone and his arrangements push the limits of his all-star band members. The tunes are up-tempo and reflect happiness and joy. The title tune, “A New Light” opens the album and sets the pace. This is followed by “Edge of Night” and “Dig” that both swing hard. Track #5, “Enchanted” slows the pace with Latin overtones and sweet string lines that enhance Eric Goletz’s trombone solo. Eric writes beautifully and he’s an astute and creative arranger. This trombonist also knows how to lay down a groove and mix R&B excitement, (sometimes reminiscent of a Earth, Wind & Fire repertoire) into his unique jazzy arrangements. Steve Johns is a master on trap drums and Joe Mowatt pushes the rhythm forward with percussive authority. I enjoy all of the Eric Goletz powerful composing skills and appreciate the way he arranges his music. For example, “Don’t Gimme That!” establishes a bright, memorable melody before inviting Allen Farnham on organ-keyboards to soak up the spotlight. When Eric Goletz presses the trombone to his lips, out spills improvisation and energy that inspires. Randy Brecker shines on his trumpet and then he and Goletz play tag, trading fours mid-way through the tune. I love the percussion that is happening in the background, showing how skillful Mowatt is; always present, but never getting in the way of solos or melody. He’s steady and dependable as a ceiling fan; being just as cool! The tune titled, “The Mirror” is funky, jazzy and tastily mixes ‘rock’ into the mix. The final song, “After the Light” uses themes from all the other tunes on this disc to create a fascinating medley of the entire recorded concert. There’s something for everyone on this album. If you love orchestrated energy, creative arranging and trombone brilliance, slide this into your CD player, sit back and enjoy."