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Rabshakeh

Vinny Golia

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Over on the new Albums You Should Own thread, there’s some discussion about Vinny Golia. He also popped up on the Vinyl thread too recently.

He’s not an easy artist to track down - lots of releases; very little that is easily available to sample online; comparatively low profile in the jazz press (since the 90s).  I have only recently discovered him as a result. 

I noticed that there was no dedicated Vinny Golia thread, and thought, given the recent mentions, that it would be a good time to start one.

So - What are your thoughts, favourites, recommendations, happiest memories of Mr. Golia?

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There are other members who know more about him than I do. Jcam44?

But I own about eight albums, split evenly between early Nine Winds vinyl and more recent CDs. I can honestly say I have never been disappointed by any purchase of his leader dates. I could just list them all here

Two recommendations would be 'In The Right Order' by his trio from 1979 and by way of contrast a great solo disc  'Music for like instruments: the flutes' from 2004. But as I type this I have to add the 'Haunting The Spirits Inside Them' with Ken Filiano and Joelle Leander which is simply stunning.

He's someone that if I come across something by in the racks I just buy. His facility on such a range of instruments is lightly worn it seems to me and he always chooses interesting contexts in which to display it.

It certainly appears that the distribution of Nine Winds in the UK and possibly Europe as well has been patchy at best. Having said that I haven't recently scoped the NW bandcamp situation. This thread will be my prompt and prove undoubtedly costly if there's much available.

There's an early Large Ensembles set I would love to get my hands on.

Update to add: just found and purchased the Large Ensemble set. UK seller with other Golia vinyl, could prove a costly thread 😄

Edited by mjazzg

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Was lucky enough to meet (and occasionally visit with) Mr. Golia during my time at CalArts. He still teaches there.

https://music.calarts.edu/programs-specializations/jazz/faculty/vinny-golia

SFUMATO on Clean Feed is excellent. Also, any date that pairs him with or features Rob Blakeslee is worth hearing. SPIRIT OF THE TIMES, LONG NARROWS... Rob is a fantastic trumpet player in his own right.

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Talking of players he plays with, I discovered trombonist John Rapson who has a couple of very nice albums on Nine Winds

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6 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

He’s not an easy artist to track down - lots of releases; very little that is easily available to sample online ...

There are quite a few recordings featuring Golia on Spotify. One of my favorites is Regards From Nora Desmond, a 1986 recording with Golia on baritone sax, John Fumo on trumpet, Wayne Peet on piano, Ken Filiano on bass and  Alex Cline on drums. Issued in 2004 on Fresh Sound New Talent (FSNT-008), it's more "straight ahead" than many of his other releases.

image.jpg

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Thanks everyone for these recommendations. 

4 hours ago, mjazzg said:

 Having said that I haven't recently scoped the NW bandcamp situation. This thread will be my prompt and prove undoubtedly costly if there's much available.

Sadly, it is very patchy. Nine Winds is one of those labels for which I would happily go mad if more was available on Bandcamp. 

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I’ve seen Vinny probably a dozen times Live over the years in various configurations. His live sets are fantastic! He played one of the most amazing sopranino solos I’ve ever seen at the angel city jazz fest a couple years ago.  The large ensemble stuff is great if you’re into that sound and mjazzg you will be pleased with Compositions for Large ensembles, it took me a couple years to find it. Vinny really has something for every mood. His solo work is excellent whether it’s the Solo LP from 1980 or Clarinet from 2001. He has a tape release from a couple years ago that was really good also where he plays singing bowls in conjunction with horns. The music for series is excellent but not something I return to as often as other stuff, but usually it’s in a flurry through the series when I do. Trajectory releases a couple years ago is a favorite. The Steve Adams duo albums at great as well. I agree some of his output is hard to find but if you dig a little it’s there. I’ve never been disappointed by a release of his or the nine winds label. 

Two releases that are rare and should buy on site and are both fantastic are Puff of Smoke and One, Three, Two. I think they’re Italian releases maybe. 

I think this was the release concert for Trajectory

 

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This is cool because you can see how vinny composes spontaneously. 

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I've definitely seen him but am struggling to remember who else was in the group! It was certainly good, whatever it was...

his NineWinds LPs are all quite choice, have most of them in the racks. More recent albums I am less familiar with though I have a few.

oh wait, it was in August 2012 at Ibeam, duo with Filiano. Right after I moved east.

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Saw Golia live in 1997 at LACMA. He played almost the entire gig on Eb contra-alto clarinet. Unfortunately, I can't remember the rest of the band. A piano-less quartet if I recall correctly.

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I saw Golia live with Bobby Bradford, Ken Filiano and Alex Cline and it was every bit of good as you could imagine! I have several of his records on vinyl, which I haven't spun in ages, but they are all good, particularly the trio date ...In the Right Order ... He's a nice illustrator, too--he did the cover to the Dave Holland/Barre Phillips ECM LP.

 

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R-3726779-1341972019-6315.jpeg.jpg

Compositions For Large Ensemble.  Purchase prompted by this thread and I have to say that first acquaintance is very positive.  Some great playing over the three LPs.  The compositions are strong too, not just vehicles for blowing.  I think it will repay closer attention over repeated listens.

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I always felt like Vinny's large ensemble stuff is like an onion. With each listen your taking off another layer and its becoming more and more the music it was created to be. Facts of Their Own Lives, Pilgrimage to Obscurity, and Commemoration are probably where I would head next. The DVD's "Overview" and "20th Anniversary" are/were easy and cheap to find. I'm ashamed to admit I have Live at the Red Cat on DVD and haven't opened it yet. Will rectify soon. I used to see Vinny's cds cheap ($2 to $5) everywhere here (especially Amoeba and Poo Bah) so if anyone is looking for something I'm happy to keep my eyes peeled for you when/if I venture back out to record stores. 

 

This also made me think, though it would never happen, a Mosaic with Vinny's large enesemble stuff would be awesome. 

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Yes, I think i can hear how the layers will reveal themselves over time. There's lots going on.

Thanks for the recommendations, I have 'Facts Of Their Own Lives' and my enjoyment of that helped prompt the purchase of the 3LP set. 

I can safely say I've never seen a Golia CD in a shop in the UK, except maybe the Clean Feeds.

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Yeah, I think Compositions to Facts is a natural progression. In the UK my guess is outside of some of the early Ninewinds vinyl releases, you would only have the higher chance to see Puff of Smoke or One, Three, Two. One, Three, Two was a German release I think and Puff of Smoke an Italian release (not positive about either but I remember them being hard to find because they weren't released in the US). He also had Birdology on Leo Records which I'm not super high on, but honestly haven't spun it much. 

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One day I’ll investigate his large ensemble stuff

I'm a big listener to all sorts of free/avant large ensemble music - along with small group freely improvised music of the past 10-15 years it’s my sweetest of all sweet spots 

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The Large Ensemble set above is quite interesting indeed, gotta dig it out of the racks again sometime.

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Would have seen him in Maryland in the spring if not for COVID...

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