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  • Jonathan Widran

ERIC GOLETZ, Into the Night...

For a guy who admits he dislikes the chaotic connotations of the term “fusion,” veteran East Coast trombonist and keyboardist Eric Goletz sure has a blast bringing a three decade dream of a genre-transcendent, boundary free ensemble jam to soulful yet supercharged fruition on his long-awaited debut album Into the Night…

Cheerfully, there are numerous angles – and very few time limits - with which to convey the story of Goletz’s freewheeling rock, jazz and funk-fueled interactions with his ten piece ensemble (including an alternately sensual and slammin’ five piece horn section – that journeys us from the bustling swing of "Say What?" (featuring crackling solos by the trombonist and guitarist Henry Heinitsh) through the rockin’ Latin jam “Cat on the Corner” and a balmy and romantic, atmosphere-rich adaptation of The Rippingtons’ “Sweet Lullaby” (here called “Lullaby).

There’s the fascinating evolution over several decades from his original ensemble concept, which was based on late 80s studio recordings with a whole different set of musicians. There’s the deeply spiritual aspect, as explained in Goletz’s thoughtful liner notes: “…A journey which begins in the recess of your being, within the realm of your inner self, an adventure of imagination on the path to wonderment, to find a place of magic, a place of peace…”

And perhaps most colorfully and perfectly of the present moment, Goletz’s response to having his original recording dates shut down due to COVID led him to socially distanced performances for neighbors in the courtyard of his housing complex. With the neighbors watching from their balconies, Goletz led several lively outdoor sessions, including one where the entire ensemble was invited to jam.

This allowed them to develop the multi-faceted repertoire (that includes wildly supercharged re-fashionings of John Coltrane and Cole Porter classics amidst the adventurous originals) that they later captured – along with a few original additions – when they finally were clear to enter the studio. Now that Goletz has found a way to capture the energy of his longtime dream so powerfully with just the right musicians, hopefully he and his incredible crew can take us back into the night without such a long wait.


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