Jerry Goodman: Endless November
Jerry Goodman (violin, guitar)
On The Future of Aviation (Private Music 1301)
Jerry Goodman (violin, guitar),
Fred Simon (keyboards), Paul Wertico (drums).
Composed by Jerry Goodman.
Recorded: Evanston, IL, 1985
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
For all intents and purposes, ex-Mahavishnu Orchestra violinist Jerry Goodman was absent from the music scene for a full decade from about 1975 to 1985. The acrimonious breakup of the highly popular Mahavishnu Orchestra and Goodman's own self-confidence issues, which really came to the fore during the recording of his first post-Mahavishnu album Like Children with Jan Hammer, proved to be too much for Goodman. He withdrew. Goodman, truly a great musician, has fought these feelings of inadequacy his whole career. When I interviewed him for my book on the Mahavishnu Orchestra, he said he was in a good place. But he joked that that could change at any moment.
I remember how thrilled I was in 1985 to see On the Future of Aviation in the CD rack at the Tower Records on Ventura Boulevard. I was even happier after my first listen. Goodman's comeback album was not raw powered-fusion like Mahavishnu. It was actually strangely more symphonic than Mahavishnu. It was a more deliberate effort at cohesion. "Endless November" is a perfect example. It takes its sweet time developing a long mysterious sing-songy vibe that nonetheless is full of driving power. The trio sounds like 6 or 7 players. There had to be overdubbing because Goodman could not play the guitar and violin simultaneously, as he does so effectively in presenting the tune's gravitational theme. Even so, the full sound obtained is testament to Goodman's aural sensibilities. Fred Simon plays synthesizers on the piece and perfectly surrounds Goodman melodically and texturally. Drummer Wertico backbeats his ass off. "Endless November" is a compelling composition and performance. It boggles the mind how such a great artist as Goodman could have presented this and other art at such a high level, yet still wonder if he was good enough. But the human mind is beyond understanding. I want to hear some new Jerry Goodman music. I hope he would like to play some.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky