GREG GOODMAN: The Construction Of Ruins -- The Australian Site (The Beak Doctor, 903 Cedar St., Berkeley, CA 94710) According to the liner notes, Goodman translates visual images such as old train tickets, discarded beer cans, and dead trout wrapped in gauze into sonic statements. Well, anyway, this is what is referred to as avant garde, experimental, or free form music, depending on your point of view.
The traditional elements of melody, harmony, and rhythm are either stretched to the limit or non-existent, also depending on your point of view. Interestingly, this album works very well, relying on Goodman;s sheer exuberance and his ability to keep his attention/feelings focused on the matters at hand. Rather than long tedious pauses punctuated by thumps and plinks, things move so quickly there isn't time to think. I found myself simply experiencing the music instead of trying to disseminate it. Which is as it should be.
Goodman is joined on one piece by Jon Rose (violin) and on another by Rose and Henry Kaiser (guitar). A major factor in the success of these pieces is the feeling of real participation by the players. the closing piece, "Notes," which is the only piece in which the piano is played in a traditional way, kind of sums up the whole album, moving from scrambling dissonance to a beautiful, haunting little melody, and stopping at several points in between. Good sound, immaculate pressing, almost an hour of intense, adventurous music. -C.W. Vrtacek
Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-12-95