Pacific Woods

Finisterre, by Pacific Woods
Finisterre

(2020)
Sanctuary, by Pacific Woods
Sanctuary

(2018)
Pool of Mirrors, by Pacific Woods
Pool of Mirrors

(2017)
Pacific Woods: Dave Jordan & Harrison Goldberg
About

Pacific Woods
Reviewer David Steffen
Review

by David Steffen



Finisterre, by Pacific Woods

Pacific Woods

Harrison Goldberg - tenor, alto & soprano saxophones
Dave Jordan - electric bass guitar

Recorded, mixed & mastered by Dave Jordan
Cover design & photography by PT Nunn
Copyright © and ℗ 2020 Pacific Woods

 

Finisterre

  1. Finisterre
  2. Awakening
  3. Oh Glorious Day
  4. Open Sky
  5. Rumination
  6. Autumn Waltz
  7. No More Waiting
  8. Respite
  9. Struttin'
  10. Solace
  11. Into the World
  12. Jubilation
  13. Prayer for Peace


Streaming & downloads:

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Amazon Music   Google Play

Buy CDs at: Amazon Music or
Dolphin Gallery, Gualala, CA


Video by ptNunn.com
 

Recorded in Gualala, CA, on the western edge of the continent, "Finisterre" (Latin for "land's end") evokes the beauty and serenity of our coast, between the Pacific Ocean and the redwood forest, hence the band's name, "Pacific Woods."

Speaking of their band's origin and creative process, Harrison says: "Several years ago, Dave and I began a series of weekly experimental workshops that over time evolved into a unique dialogue between saxophone and electric bass, a musical language that was captured on our first recording, Pool of Mirrors. Most of the tracks on our albums are first-take improvisations recorded live."

Harrison's lyrical melodies are the aesthetic heart of Finisterre. His decades of playing jazz inform his melodies, but this isn't quite a jazz album. His playing is quieter, more spacious and peaceful than his fans may expect from his jazz concerts here on the coast.

Dave's ostinato bass lines provide a pulse and rhythmic texture, but leave room for expressive and rhythmic freedom. Often, one of us will break the groove and the other will follow, leading to unexpected interludes and changes in direction.

Even more than previous albums, the tunes on Finisterre are bass & sax duets, with no overdubs or digital magic. The music is deceptively simple — strongly tonal and modal, with no atonal explorations, basic time signatures with no complex syncopation; it's simply the interplay of Harrison's soaring melodies and Dave's rhythmic bass patterns.

 


"Finisterre"
New Album by Pacific Woods

Reviewed by David Steffen

Before you hear the music, the artwork on the CD package makes you start thinking. Then you see the title, and a fragment of imaginary music may come to mind. By the time you open the CD and get ready to listen you're thinking you know what's coming.

From the first bars, you figure out that the Celts have been here. Sirens (from Greek mythology) have probably spent time here, their songs so compelling they drive sailors to find the rocks, instead of a safe harbor. "Finisterre" is an album for listening at home, or sitting somewhere. Somewhere other than in your car, by the way. You want to be able to enjoy the music thoroughly, without distractions. And enjoy you will.

It's reasonable to conclude that the title of the album "Finisterre," is no accident, and from the first notes you begin to picture the two members of Pacific Woods, standing on those Spanish cliffs above the water. In Galicia, to be precise. And now you know why the sailors were lost. Lost inside the siren's songs.

Actually, the cliffs are thousand of miles west of Galicia. In northern California. The two members of Pacific Woods, Harrison Goldberg and Dave Jordan, are outstanding musicians. Give them a classic Jazz chart and they'll kill it. (That's a good thing.) However, in some respects, it's more important that they are able to intuit the musical journey. With each track of this album you can feel a visceral call-and-response as Goldberg's breath and Jordan's fingers take us on our journey. You can get lost in the album and happily, there are no rocks below us. No sea to endanger us.

"Finisterre" is a baker's dozen of superb tracks. You get no sense that Goldberg's sax and Jordan's bass are fighting for digital supremacy. Rather they are much like a coin. One flip and the sax seems to take precedence. Flip the coin and the roles are reversed. And the listener wins each time.

I can provide you a list of tracks and say "listen to this track or that track." But I won't. Pick up the CD and listen to it all. Safely.

© 2020 The Lighthouse Peddler; reprinted with permission


David Steffen
David Steffen writes about history and the arts under the pen name JazzDavid.
He oversaw day-to-day operations at GRP Records, a jazz-oriented label based
in New York, and later worked for BMG Music (NY) and A&M Records (CHI, LA).


contact: pw@pacificwoodsstudio.com

© 2017-2021 Pacific Woods

Pacific Woods Studio