Chronicles of Carmela

by Wayne Goins

Released 2011
Little Apple Records
Released 2011
Little Apple Records
Ten original tunes from Wayne Goins and his smoking quartet. . . .
Review from Jas Obrecht:
Kansas jazz is alive and well! Master guitarist Wayne Goins’ new release reveals a musician of deep feeling, unassailable generosity, and exquisite taste. Chronicles of Carmela is, in fact, the most breathtakingly beautiful new jazz release I’ve heard in years. Goins composed, arranged, and produced all eleven songs and gave his musicians plenty of room to improvise. On the opening tracks, Goins, tenor saxophonist Craig Treinen, and pianist Bill Wingfield conjure images of Wes Montgomery and/or young George Benson sitting in with Atlantic-era John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner. To put this another way: If you play the ten-minute ballad “Dale’s Dream” and your main squeeze doesn’t respond, it’s all over, Jack. Set to a driving groove, “Why Call It Amnesia” builds to a brilliant octaves-and-single-lines guitar solo. “Deborah at Dawn” is a case-study in how to build to a climax and finesse the resolution. “Samba de Solo” cooks. In other highlights, “Kenny’s Hang” pays tribute to Kenny Burrell, and “Choppin’ Wood” delivers a knowing nod to Count Basie’s master rhythm guitarist Freddie Green. Goins and gang end the album on a very high note with “Amnesia (Slight Return).”
In addition to being an outstanding composer and guitarist, Dr. Goins is Director of the Jazz Studies at Kansas State University and co-author of A Biography of Charlie Christian, Jazz Guitar’s King of Swing, which is, without doubt, the best study of Christian yet published. And Carmela, by the way, is the name of his Gibson electric guitar, lucky girl she.
Wayne Goins’ first release on Little Apple Records since 2006, Chronicles of Carmela, is a brilliant showcase of Dr. Goins’ guitar and writing chops. Carmela is Wayne’s guitar. From the bossa nova of “Jasmine’s Day”, the Basie-Hefti groove of “Choppin’ Wood” (for Freddie Green), the balladry of “Dale’s Dream”, to soulful outings like “Why Call It Amnesia” and “Deborah at Dawn”), to the easy shuffling “Waylayed” and the kick-butt “Chi-Town” shuffle of “Sink or Swim,” there are really ten different, STRONG grooves in this disc.
Immediately upon hearing the very first track on the CD, you know you are in for a great ride. Goins invites a few musical associates from Kansas State University, where he is Director of Jazz Studies. Pianist Bill Wingfield, bassist Gordon Lewis, saxophonist Craig Treinen former student drummer Matt Leifer, and guest artist Everette DeVan with his B-3 from Kansas City make up the ensemble.
Carmela herself has this singing tone, and Goins’ sound has a long finish to it that makes his single note runs sound much like a horn. Or, he can play Wes Montgomery octaves, as he gets into on the “Choppin’” opener. Wayne also invokes the Freddie Green comping behind the Treinen, Wingfield, and Gordon solos.

All in all, it’s another very solid Wayne Goins release from the Little Apple.

Roger Atkinson,