This six year period marks a progression not only through time, but through geography, and through artistic focus.
The disc opens with three works from Goodheart’s 2002 concert at the Music Gallery in Toronto. This is what might be considered the “middle” period, where his expansive timbral and motific vocabulary are used within a developmental structural language. Each piece demonstrates a different improvisational approach to structure; technical elaboration, the assembling and dis-assembling of a set idea, and remaining within the strictures of an ostinato/melody dialogue.
The concert at Killain Hall at MIT followed Goodheart’s appearance with Glenn Spearman at the “Fire in The Valley Festival” (released as First and Last [Eremite MTE015]). These pieces bring us back to the foundation of Goodheart’s music. In From the Dark, Laughing is a traditional free-jazz piece, a structure based on motific cells. The collection of short works Suite for the Charles River demonstrates both the early interest in miniature form (which later became prominent form in his trio Zen Widow [Evander Music EM 022]), and in the expanded timbral vocabulary which was to become prominent in his later works.
The final three tracks represent the latest stages of Goodheart’s development. While maintaining the intensity of his free-jazz beginnings, his focus becomes increasingly timbral, seeking to develop his improvisations from within the sound itself. In the Köln piece, the properties of the extreme upper register of the piano create the basis for piece. The longer work from The Jazz House in Berkeley demonstrates his development of techniques used within the body of the piano itself, on the strings and body of the instrument. The final piece comes from the International Conference/Festival of Spectral Music in Istanbul. Here is Goodheart at his most focused and reductive, the entire piece taking place within the overtone spectra of a single note. Yet despite this highly restricted language, its intensity and inner complexity draws upon the great variety of music that precedes it, condensing it into a single, turbulent moment.