William Goffigan

The Eternal Flame

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Drummer William Goffigan never gained much fame because he decided to settle in his hometown of Baltimore, but he has played with Horace Silver, Jack McDuff, Sun Ra, and many other major musicians. On his debut as a leader, Goffigan is joined by four sidemen who have since become much more famous than he ever would. Bassist Victor Gaskin was already known, but trumpeter Tom Harrell, tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, and pianist Cyrus Chestnut were on their way up. The group performs seven Goffigan originals plus "Pennies From Heaven" and "Skylark." "Buhaina's Blues and Freddie's Too" is similar to "Blues March," and none of the other originals were destined to catch on. However the pieces serve as solid frameworks for the excellent solos and this rare date, in addition to giving listeners early snapshots of the styles of the well-featured Harrell (who is exquisite on "Skylark"), Thomas (whose role on the date is quite minor), and Chestnut, shows that Goffigan was a world-class player too.