Andrew L. Goodrich

Motherless Child

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Since the 1950s, Delmark Records has been great about documenting talented but lesser-known Chicago-based jazzmen who were being ignored by larger labels. In 1996, one such Chicago resident was Memphis native Andy Goodrich, who had recently retired from jazz education (his main focus for decades) and was devoting more time to playing and recording. Far from innovative but certainly decent and pleasing, the veteran alto saxophonist's debut album, Motherless Child, often recalled the 1950s and pointed to the fact that he was a pure, unadulterated bebopper. Charlie Parker's strong influence is hard to miss on Bird's "Quasimodo," as well as Benny Golson's "Stablemates" and Gigi Gryce's "Reminiscing," although there are also traces of Benny Carter and Sonny Stitt in Goodrich's shimmering alto. Another highlight of the CD is a sentimental version of "Stranger In Paradise," awhich hasn't been played as jazz very often but works well in a bop setting. The disc's only real acknowledgement of post-bop developments in jazz is the title tune, which has modal leanings and recalls John Coltrane's early to mid-1960s quartet. Joined by Eddie Henderson on trumpet, Harold Mabern or James Williams on piano, Buster Williams on bass and Billy Hart on drums, Goodrich makes us wish he hadn't waited so long to record as a leader.

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