Alex Goodman: Impressions In Blue And Red

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An ambitious double album from Toronto-born Goodman, based on the power of colours and their ability to influence sound. The visual arts influenced much of the work here, with Goodman reading around the subject and exploring museums as part of his research. From Van Gogh to Picasso, colours have been used in unique and distinctive ways to create art, and Goodman has done the same with his musical interpretations of blue and red.

As part of the approach, different musicians were used on the album, to reflect the moods conjured by each of the colours. Blue, of course, seems to have a particular association with jazz. It has been used in the titles of several classic albums across the decades, and linked to that sense of melancholy, sadness and regret that jazz captures like no other music.

In addition to 15 originals by Goodman, the double album features interpretations of Herbie Hancock’s Toys and a movement from a baroque sonata by Johann Rosenmuller. Both of these feature on the Impressions In Red part of the album, with Goodman seeing Rosenmuller’s work as a darker shade of the colour, and Hancock’s on the brighter shade of the palette. 

Such personal projects are, of course, always very individual interpretations. I’m not always convinced I made particular connections to these colours when listening to the music, but overall this is an engaging and enjoyable listen, that brings out the differences and the similarities between these two colours and how they influence what we hear and how we feel.

Discography
CD1: [Impressions In Blue] No Man’s Land; Blue Shade (Intro); Blue Shade; Moods; Space Behind Eugene Boch (Intro); Space Behind Eugene Boch; Zen (Intro); Zen; Cobalt Life With Skull (Intro); Cobalt Life With Skull; I’ll Never Be The Same (44.13)
CD2: [Impressions In Red] Choose; Circles In A Circle; Impending (Intro); Impending; In Heaven Everything Is Fine; Toys; Occam’s Razor; Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It (Intro); Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It; E.T.; Sonata No 12 Adagio (Intro); Sonata No 12 Adagio; View In Perspective; View In Perspective; If I Loved You (57.03)
(1) Ben Van Gelder (as); Goodman (g), Martin Nevin (b); Jimmy Macbride (d). (2) Alex Lore (as); Alex Goodman (g); Rick Rosato (b); Mark Ferber (d). No place or date.
Outside In Music OIM 2005