Jerry Goodman: Topanga Waltz
Jerry Goodman (violin, guitar)
Ariel (Private Music 2013-2-P)
Jerry Goodman (violin, guitar),
Kraig McReary (electric guitar), Fred Simon (keyboards), Jeffery Vanston (synthesizer), Bob Lizik (bass), Jim Hines (drums).
Composed by Jerry Goodman.
Recorded: Evanston, IL, 1986
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
For many years, native Illinoisan Jerry Goodman has made his home in the San Fernando Valley, just northwest of Los Angeles. I found this out when I was researching my book on the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I used to live there too. To my chagrin, I found out that he lived only a few streets away from me for all the years I was there. If I had known his close proximity, I would have bothered him to no end! What does this have to do with anything? Well, we both lived a few streets away from Topanga Canyon Boulevard and not far from Topanga Canyon and the city of Topanga – the inspiration for "Topanga Waltz."
"Topanga Waltz" is not a waltz at all if that matters. (Or a very sneaky one if it is). McReary's power chords introduce the piece. Above his rock sound, Goodman's melody is the antithesis of what McReary, bassist Lizik and drummer Jim Hines are laying down. It is the pure sound of melodious fiddling. Some brief but beautiful motifs are presented before a repeating riff is established for some more soloing and to serve as a bridge to the return of McReary's opening statement. It is quite an interesting piece because the underlying ground is harsh while the lead playing above the surface is quite pretty. Come to think of it, a lot of the Valley is that way too.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky