Ben Goldberg, Charlie Hunter, Go Home

Say … that first track, “Wazee,” on Ben Goldberg’s Myspace page … is that the new band Go Home?


Go ahead, listen. It’s got Goldberg’s clarinet strolling by with a light Klezmer influence. Funky beat like Scott Amendola might lay down. Guitar that sounds like Charlie Hunter. A trumpet that could well be Ron Miles.

Go Home, consisting of those four guys, recently recorded an upcoming CD in New York, as mentioned on Hunter’s blog. And they’ll be playing a few gigs very soon in Northern (including Northern) California:

Thursday, Feb. 5, at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz
Friday, Feb. 6, at Cafe Du Nord, SF, sort of
Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
Sunday, Feb. 8, at Throckmorton Theater, Mill Valley
Monday, Feb. 9, at Humboldt State, Arcata

Click the Arcata link for three more tracks: A slower one with a looser feel, a jumbly out-jazz tune heavy on the improvisation, and one with coolly Spanish/Flamenco tones (using my own possibly inaccurate understanding of those terms).

I found out about the band when Goldberg himself happened to call during my radio show — a very cool surprise. Goldberg, Hunter, and Amendola did overlap in the Bay Area’s fertile jazz scene of the early ’90s, but I still wondered how the styles would mix: Goldberg’s Monk/Lacy jazz lines against the funk of Hunter’s guitar and effects. Of course, Hunter can play out-there too; he’s been getting adventurous with his own albums and with Groundtruther, his group with Bobby Previte. And Amendola can land anywhere on the map. It’s nice to hear they’ve got a variety of styles going for this album.

Ron Miles’ own stuff has been on the mellow side, and he’s worked with Bill Frisell — but the one time I saw him live was in an avant-garde context, with Tim Berne‘s improvising trio Paraphrase, in a one-off show in Colorado Springs.

The weekend around February 7 is packed with good shows: Lisa Mezzacappa at the Jazzschool; Amendola’s 40th-birthday bash at Cafe Du Nord on the 6th (all members of Go Home will be there, at least); Reasons for Moving (Darren Johnston’s quintet with Fred Frith and Larry Ochs) also at Du Nord. Apparently Ches Smith is even in town to play with Devin Hoff in Good for Cows at House of Nostromo on the 6th.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to get out to find time for Go Home. Given how far apart the guys live, they probably won’t be touring this music often.

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