Recommended: Gold Age – “Gold Age”


gold-age-gold-ageIt’s the collision of contrasting elements that makes Gold Age so damn thrilling, but the way that the Gold Age quartet gets them to come together post-contact is what makes this album so damn cool.  It’s about propulsion and it’s about contemplation.  It’s about unimpeded inspiration and it’s about patient lyricism.  It’s about how Mark Clifford‘s vibraphone thoughtfully demarcates the path of the melody while Aram Shelton‘s bass clarinet burns down everything along that path.  It’s about how bassist Safa Shokrai brings a brisk hop to “Peach Orchard,” which gave every indication it was going to be a song about moonlight.  And it’s about how “Levity Faction” begins with a sing-song demeanor before drummer Britt Ciampa builds up a head of steam and leaves the idea of song in his rear view mirror.  It’s about how these opposing characteristics come together and simultaneously enhance their individual differences and united commonalities.

A seriously good recording.  Everything about this album screams modern jazz, but every now and then I found myself enjoying it much the same way and for the same reasons I break into my heavy listening schedule for some of the Bobby Hutcherson inside-out Blue Note recordings.

Your album personnel:  Aram Shelton (alto sax, bass clarinet), Mark Clifford (vibraphone), Safa Shokrai (bass) and Britt Ciampa (drums).

Released on Singlespeed Records.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Jazz from the Oakland, CA scene.

Available at:  Bandcamp | eMusic