Artist: Victor Gould
Label: Fresh Sound Talent
Release Date: 05/15/2016
Pianist, composer and arranger Victor Gould’s musical imagination and virtuoso facility runs fierce and free on Clockwork, his energetic and wildly entertaining debut.
Whether Gould’s many gifts come from some greater force or from his years as a sideman for, among others, saxophonists Donald Harrison and Eric Alexander, and trumpeter Wallace Roney (with whom Gould is now performing) it all comes to lively fruition on these eleven vibrant tracks.
Gould’s use of instrumental color and and soul-deep knowledge of arrangement runs the timeline to Ellington himself, who always wrote to his player’s strengths.Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxophonists Godwin Louis and Myron Walden launch the propulsive, hard bop, Latin tinged title track into the stratosphere, and it is there this must-listen to disc remains. “Three Souls,” another piece for the sextet, swings beyond limits. The instantly memorable ballad “Chaancé” introduces a lovely string passage underneath Pelt’s eloquent flugelhorn. Flautist Anne Drummond sheds light on the dark, elongated drive of “Apostle John.” Throughout, the synergy shared by Gould, bassist Ben Williams and drummer E.J. Strickland (try navigating the urgent hypnotic twists of Wayne Shorter’s legendary “Nefertiti”) is startling.
If you don’t get the picture by now, there’s really not much more I’m going to hyperpolize about that will convince you without actually hearing this grand achievement for yourself. So go ahead, break free from the standard chains that bind you. Clockwork, and its spirited leader, certainly does.
– Mike Jurkovic