Album:Unfold Ordinary Mind
The clarinet is an instrument that was very popular in The Swing Era of the 40s with Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. In recent years it has taken a back seat to the sax. Ben Goldberg is keeping the clarinet alive. He is a proponent of what I would call Jewish Jazz similar to John Zorn. The difference is that Zorn lives in New York and Goldberg lives in San Francisco though they have worked together. Goldberg was born Aug. 8, 1959 in Denver. He studied music at the University of California, Santa Cruz and he has a Master of Arts in composition from Mills College. His main teacher was clarinetist Rosario Mazzeo but he also trained with Joe Lovano and Steve Lacy. Goldberg started out in San Francisco leading The New Klezmer Trio and then he made an easy transition to jazz as co-founder of Tin Hat. Klezmer music is sometimes called Jewish Jazz. He also plays in bands led by pianist Myra Melford and guitarist Nels Cline. Goldberg first recorded as a leader in 1992. But since 2010 he has recorded for his own label BAG Production Records. xcpf is from the 2012 CD Unfold Ordinary Mind with Nels Cline on guitar, Ellery Eskelin and Rob Sudduth on sax and Ches Smith on drums. Goldberg's latest CD Dialogue is an album of duets with pianist Myra Melford. It was released Jan. 2016. He has recently formed Mr. Joy with pianist Michael Coleman and they recently released a 2 CDs. It looks like he is playing mostly San Francisco clubs right now. And I'm sure he has other projects in the works. He's a busy guy. Here's Ben Goldberg with Myra Melford on piano, John Shiflett on bass and Scott Amendola on drums performing xcpf at Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse Berkeley, CA Jan. 2013.