Second Act, the new album from NYC-based, Toronto born guitarist Alex Goodman, signals a new beginning as much as the closing of a particular period, and the album’s eleven striking compositions more than live up to that promise. A stunning departure from the chamber-jazz style of Goodman's previous album, Border Crossing, the music on Second Act balances inventive composition and thrilling improvisation, with pieces that boast exhilarating, fluidly angular melodies and intricate architecture but which spark electrifying spontaneity from Goodman and his deft quintet.
You can check out a great EPK from the band here.
Sample a track from the album HERE.
Given the agility of the playing and the depth of communication throughout the album, Second Act features a band that has obviously spent a good deal of time getting to know each other’s sonic personalities. Goodman is joined by four peers who have also come to the city from a variety of disparate places and experiences: saxophonist Matt Marantz (Texas), pianist Eden Ladin (born in NYC but raised in Israel), bassist Rick Rosato (Montreal) and drummer Jimmy Macbride (Connecticut). They’ve each formed relationships with such envelope-pushing artists as Avishai Cohen, Will Vinson, Lage Lund, Nir Felder, Terence Blanchard and Jonathan Batiste, while working together in a variety of settings, spurring each other onward into exciting new territory.
To enhance the music’s already wide-ranging palette, Goodman added layers of human voice to the pieces after the initial studio sessions, writing new parts for the wordless vocals that interweave with not only his originally written material, but also the band’s in-the-moment interpretations. He enlisted a talented pair of fellow Canadians to sing the parts: Felicity Williams, a longtime collaborator who also appears in a similar role on Border Crossing, and Alex Samaras, a key contributor to the Canadian jazz and new music scenes. Goodman often layers the two vocalists’ contributions, offering him the option of employing sinuous lines or lush, swelling choruses as desired.
After five years in New York City, Alex Goodman has not only established himself as a rising star and significant voice in the jazz mecca, but has gathered together a gifted group of peers, each of whom are quickly forging a path forward for the music’s next generation. The guitarist/composer began his career in his native Toronto, becoming an integral part of the scene in the Canadian city and receiving a wealth of accolades across the country. The CBC News hailed him as having “taken the jazz world by storm [and] attained a level of fame and success in the insular jazz community that few other Canadian guitarists can match.” In 2014 he received international recognition winning both first prize and the Public's Choice Award at the Montreux Jazz Festival International Guitar Competition in Switzerland.
Second Act will be released internationally by Lyte Records on Friday, June 23rd, 2017.
Official website: http://www.alexgoodmanmusic.com/