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A sun-drenched marriage of jazz, world beat

Zebracoast
Zebracoast
By Gil Goldstein

World Pacific / Capitol Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the January 15, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

What a wonderful, sun-drenched album this is. Combining straight-ahead jazz with world beat rhythms, keyboardist/accordionist Gil Goldstein has produced a bright, upbeat music that both challenges and relaxes.

To be sure, this is not virgin territory – Chick Corea mined much of this before. But Goldstein's unadulterated enthusiasm and uptempo arrangements make songs such as "Chiquita Linda" and "Clave Maria" plop the listener right on the beach in the Bahamas, the sun beating down on you, with a daiquiri in one hand and a paperback pulp novel in the other.

But this isn't some cheap Jimmy Buffett rip-off – the musicianship is of the highest order, the songwriting outstanding (particularly gutsy is Goldstein's tackling of Gil Evans' "Sketches of Spain" trilogy; and it's oh-so-rewarding).

Good stuff here, especially if you're intrigued by the ongoing efforts to marry American improvisational jazz to Latin and African rhythmic figures.