As his 60th birthday approached in August, clarinetist/composer Ben Goldberg briefly considered mounting a retrospective series of his many past ensembles. With the wealth of projects he’s assembled and recorded since his debut with the New Klezmer Trio in 1991, Goldberg could have easily booked his weeklong stint at the Stone at the New School a few times over. A quick career survey spans the warped bebop of Junk Genius; the lush sextet Twelve Minor; the clarinet quartet Clarinet Thing; the genre-defying ensemble Tin Hat; and any number of collaborations with the likes of Nels Cline, Myra Melford, Kenny Wollesen, Trevor Dunn, and Marty Ehrlich.
But in the end, as he so often does, Goldberg veered off in a different direction. His rationale? “I thought if I have to turn 60, I’d rather take the opportunity to try some new, weird stuff and look forward.”