Jared Gold (organ)
Golden Child (Posi-Tone Records; 2012)
Quincy Davis (drums)
Ed Cherry (guitar)
Rolling along in a funkier groove than his previous quartet outing, All Wrapped Up, Jared Gold returns right on time with another soul jazz gem--Golden Child. This time in a trio session with Ed Cherry (guitar) and Quincy Davis (drums). It's like John Patton, Wes Montgomery and Billy Higgins been have locked in a room with a large chest of soul classics to get them through the night.
Opening with a charged up version of Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," Gold keeps the soulful impact of the impassioned ballad but adds a fire and urgency that makes the piece his own. Cherry's guitar provides the romantic element, while Davis applies the groove beat that makes for an uplifting opener to a journey that is about to sizzle.
At times this feels like a raw version of Medeski Martin Wood. It's the grit and the groove without the dramatics. That's a good thing on Golden Child. It leaves you squarely focused on the tune. "14 Carat Gold" is the trio in a blues mood with a few twists and turns created through Gold's unique and varied lens. His improvised lines about two thirds in are smokin'. He really has a way of turning the organ into more than just the funk/blues instrument it's sometimes associated with. His lines feel like they were performed first on the piano (which I'm sure was not the case)--they are crisp, inventive and flowing.
With "Pensa Em Mim," Gold projects a soft gospel tone that soothes and creates a jubilant Sunday morning vibe. Gold's organ rises and falls while Cherry and Davis distribute colourful touches around the edges. It's somber but with a joyous undertone. "Times Up" crackles with heavy rapid exchanges during the opener by Gold and Davis. Gold tears into the keys like it was the last performance ever. The intensity is fueled by the bebop spirit that came before but Gold projects his own vision that makes this a very dynamic piece.
Jared Gold has always been consistent on each of his sessions and Golden Child is no different. Here you get a the fire and chill but you also get a trio that sounds stellar through and through. This is not an artist that you have to start at the beginning to understand. Jared Gold is one of the exciting ones that allows you to dive in at whatever point you choose. Let's hope you choose Golden Child as that primer.