Vinny Golia's Large Ensemble
Jazz in Flight's auspicious 10th annual Eddie Moore Jazz Festival gets a major jump-start with a rare Bay Area performance by Vinny Golia's Large Ensemble. The 30-piece creative-music orchestra, led by renowned Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist/composer Golia, has been a breeding ground for many of SoCal's more ambitious improvisers since its inception nearly two decades ago. Standout players include violinist Jeff Gauthier, drummer Alex Cline, tuba blower Bill Roper, Rova saxophonist Steve Adams, and, of course, the leader, who's an agile soloist on more than 40 aerophones, from the booming bass sax to an evocative array of bamboo flutes.
With seven remarkable albums issued on Golia's own Nine Winds imprint, and a successful stateside road trip in 1996 -- an almost unheard of feat for a new-music combo of this size -- the group has evolved into a force of uncompromising musicality. Starting, perhaps, where Duke Ellington left off, Golia's heady arrangements weave classical, jazz, ethnic, and even rock elements into supercharged movements that take on a filmic intensity. There's plenty of suspense and surprise in the music's ever-shifting timbral contours, offbeat colossal grooves, and dynamic solo passages. Smartly directed throughout, Golia's Large Ensemble delivers finely sculptured beauty with the excitement of spontaneity.