JERRY GOODMAN – Violin Fantasy

Cleopatra 2016

JERRY GOODMAN - Violin Fantasy

JERRY GOODMAN –
Violin Fantasy

On the fringe of alien dreams: fusion legend reimagines popular numbers and adds originals to his reflection.

As suggested by this album’s title, there’s no boundary to Jerry Goodman’s flight of fancy but, however free and easy it is, one can sense a challenge in his interpretation of pop idiom. Most of the tracks here being radio-friendly rock hits, the veteran clearly had to set limits for melodic liberties, and that’s what makes the likes of “The Final Countdown” so alluring in his reading.

It’s not simplistic, though, in the symphonic scope of “Enter Sandman” where erstwhile heavy riffs are dramatically transmogrified into solemn swaths of strings and a vocal line is delicately passed from violin to a piano, à la Rimsky-Korsakov, or in “Don’t Stop Believin’” made multi-dimensional and transparent. Interspersing covers are Goodman’s co-writes with DIE KRUPPS’ Jürgen Engler – such as “In The Realm Of The Netherworld” which drenches hard rock moves in vibrant orchestration – and the prog pieces Jerry contributed to Billy Sherwood’s projects that find him in the company of Rick Wakeman and Tony Levin, while the violinist’s rendition of David Essex’s “Rock On” and Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver” reveal a sensual side to his experimental edge.

The latter was recorded with NEKTAR, just like “Baba O’Riley” whose buzz has been elevated to an anthem and its folk angle evaporated to clear the space for improvisation, and the same freedom is focused in “Eye Of The Tiger” – still infectious but also adventurous now. That’s the essence of Jerry Goodman’s fantasy: that’s the reason why his handling of well-known tunes is so riveting.

****4/5

August 22, 2016

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