Victor Goines

Room 43, Chicago, IL

Victor Goines
Victor Goines

Story and Photos by James Walker, Jr., Copyright 2010

What a pleasure to witness the artistry of one of America's outstanding multi-reedest, Victor Goines. Goines , along with his quartet of bassist Marlene Rosenberg, drummer Mike Schlick, and guitarist Kyle Asche thoroughly entertained the Hyde Park Jazz Society's (HPJS) overflow crowd at Room 43 on the City's South Side. Goines, Northwestern University's Artistic Director of Jazz Studies, also performs regularly with Wynton Marsalis's Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra when he's not attending to business at Northwestern.

Goines included in his arsenal of instruments for this set his tenor and soprano sax along with the sweet sweet sounding clarinet. Although he displayed his varied skills primarily with the tenor and clarinet on this evening , it was the unique sound of that clarinet that seemed to garner the approval of this very appreciative crowd. Hoagy Carmichael's "Nearness of You" was the first occasion that he unleashed this unique jazz instrument that isn't often used in a lead role. He was complemented on the beautiful ballad by guitarist Asche. This young man was an unknown to most assembled at Room 43 but by night's end, he appeared to win the approval of all as he passionately shifted his guitar into overdrive.

Goines also played a swinging version of "Bye Bye Blackbird" with the clarinet as it's meant to be played. Bassist Rosenberg, no stranger the the HPJS crowd, used her instrument to dig for some deep bass tones along with those at the opposite end of her upright. She also plays with passion and hit her peak on this number.

During the first set, Wayne Shorter's "Black Nile" drew a rousing ovation as he displayed his skill on the tenor sax. This number also allowed drummer Schlick to engage in "call and response" with Goines. This certainly was his finest moment of the evening as he primarily remained in the background for this set.

Goines used the soprano sax during the first set on Dexter Gordan's "Tivoli." This mid tempo tune also featured both Asche and Rosenberg with nice extended solos.

The second set consisted of more standards like "Softly in the Morning Sunrise," "Cherokee," and "Body and Soul." But the highlight of this set occurred when he again brought out the clarinet for a nice composition he wrote for his mother entitled "To Those Who Love So Dearly." This was Goines at his best.

Throughout this evening of exceptional music by Goines and his bandmates, guitarist Asche made an impression on all in attendance. Not only was he complementary to Goines, his extended solos were compelling and done with surprisingly ease and fluid rapport. But nevertheless, it was the Maestro Goines who was the "star" of the show. He was engaging, and his solos were full of ideas that he played with such power and command. This observer is sure that all left knowing that they had witnessed a performance by a true masterful musician . Let's hope he returns to this venue in the very near future.

Marlene Rosenberg

Victor Goines & Marlene Rosenberg

Kyle Asche

Mike Schlick

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