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John Goldsby: Viewpoint

Bassist John Goldsby is one of those respected figures in his field whose name isn’t as well known as it should be. Chalk it up to one of the realities of life in jazz, and the jazz-bass world in particular. Goldsby shows plenty of fire and taste on Viewpoint, a sextet date recorded in Germany, where he has been living since 1994 and working as a member of the Cologne Radio Big Band. He includes a shuffle version of “Bohemia After Dark” and an intricate take on Duke Ellington’s “Warm Valley.” Goldsby’s originals seem purposefully diverse, from the aptly named “Brazilian Hat Trick” to the ballad “Sleepy Boys” to the energetic hard-boppish blowout “In the Hills.” Throughout, there’s an equitable distribution of solo time, but the leader does get his licks in. The CD opens with a version of “I Love Paris,” with a bluesy, bowed solo-bass intro, and it closes with a moving solo bass rendition of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” in which he manages to balance balladic sweetness and muscular chops.

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