In Walked Pierre
Chicago saxophonist/flutist John Goldman employed the local Dan Cray Trio as his basic rhythm section for In Walked Pierre with happy results. Pianist Cray, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Greg Wyser-Pratte, augmented at times by Neal Alger, Luciano Antonio or Jeff Parker on guitar, jell as a team, providing Goldman and trumpeter Pharez Whitted with the kind of secure foundation that allows them all to function at a high level. The leader plays confident mainstream alto, and Whitted, likewise, demonstrates an easy familiarity with the modern traditions of his instrument. Cray is especially impressive in his ability to develop simple motives into coherent, extended phrases.
Goldman arranged all the tunes, and, except for the standard "It Was a Very Good Year" and Billy Strayhorn's "Upper Manhattan Medical Group," composed them all as well. Their instrumentation ranges from a straight sax/trumpet/rhythm quintet to the fuller sound accorded by the overdubbing of soprano, alto and/or flute. Goldman's well-made compositions are as varied as the lovely "Ebony" for flute, the playful "Hicks and Yahoos," the modally swinging "West Nile," the hard boppish "Katerina's" (on "There'll Never Be Another You" changes) and the grooving "Mr. D.C.," where Goldman does more than just nod in the direction of Coltrane's A Love Supreme.