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Jazz - Released January 17, 2020 | Walt Disney Records

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Jazz - Released August 29, 2006 | Half Note Records

Gil Goldstein has always been an adventurous musician testing boundaries, but this may be his most eclectic release. With a group that includes elements of straight-ahead and contemporary jazz (saxophonist Chris Potter, trumpeter Michael Brecker, vibraphonist Mike Maineri and electric bassist Richard Bona), plus the Zebra Coast String Trio, the keyboardist looks to break down barriers. Opening with a dramatic setting of Robbie Robertson's "The Moon Struck One," the band segues into a decidedly contemporary setting of Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee," though Bona's plodding bassline proves to be a handicap. Several tracks composed by the late Jaco Pastorious prove a bit uneven; the boisterous treatment of "Liberty City" works well, while the reggae-flavored "Good Morning Anya" quickly grows tiresome. The leader switches to accordion for his subdued ballad "The Camel's Lament," played unaccompanied. While this project may not please every listener all the way through, its ambitious scope and the strong efforts of the musicians involved make it an ear-opening experience worth revisiting. ~ Ken Dryden