Brad Goode, an accomplished trumpeter and jazz studies professor at the University of Colorado, has spent most of his career steeped in bop. But on Chicago Red he continues his more modern explorations, begun in 2008 with Polytonal Dance Party and the introduction of his so-called “polytonal system,” which involves “improvising over streams of simultaneous chord sequences,” to use his words. Chicago Red takes him into Bitches Brew-era electric jazz—or, perhaps more accurate, into the sort of world/dance/trance/fusion employed on Bob Belden’s Miles From India, given Goode’s inclusion of sitar, African and Arabic percussion, and electronica-birthed dance rhythms.
Goode’s crew here is Bill Kopper on guitar and sitar, Jeff Jenkins on piano and synthesizer, Bijoux Barbosa on electric bass, Paa Kow on drums and Rony Barrak on darbouka (similar to the tabla) and rik (a tambourine). Together they weave intricate grooves over which Goode blows assertive, from-the-gut solos. His muted, ascending shivers and growls on “Cats in the Yard” (which sound like cats in the yard) are majestic. While the songwriting may seem important, the trumpeter’s improvisations over ostinatos—which occasionally approach funk—drive the bus. The title cut brings back memories of Miles Davis’ extended 1970s jams, and “Intervallistic” wouldn’t be out of place in a Galactic concert. Eight of the 10 tunes are originals, and Goode rearranges two seemingly oddball choices, W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues” and “Vesti la Giubba” from the opera I Pagliacci, so that they fit right in.
Chicago Red is deceptively complex. Goode manages to approach his music with an academic sophistication while creating the kind of groove-based jazz-rock that appeals to the younger crowd. In other words, you want this guy as your teacher and on your bandstand.