Bassist, bandleader and producer Richie Goods is pleased to announce the November 7th release of his seminal album with his band The Goods Project, entitled My Left Hand Man. The consummate bassist’s third album as a bandleader, My Left Hand Man, is a tribute to Goods’ late mentor Mulgrew Miller. Over the course of ten fresh takes of ten compositions by jazz luminary Miller , Goods achieves a clean, cohesive and unified sound wrought with thoughtful interplay from this large ensemble thanks to his mindful arrangements and the talented personnel that he carefully selected. The album features Goods on acoustic and electric bass, along with Lil John Roberts on the drums. Mulgrew’s vacant piano bench is shared on this tribute by two remarkable pianists, Shedrick Mitchell and Mike King. The release features the guitarwork of Tariqh Akoni and David Rosenthal. A slew of notable artists make guest appearances on this release, including vocalist Jean Baylor, vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, percussionist Danny Sadownick among others. Richie will be performing in Washington DC, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York and Philadelphia to support this release. See below for more details.
According to Goods, “Mulgrew is the person that really put me on the scene and helped me establish a name for myself. It was a real learning experience playing with him.” The bassist toured and recorded with Miller for nine fruitful years. Goods’ tenure with Miller spurred a career that would eventually see the bass player performing with the likes of Alicia Keys, Common, Chris Botti, Whitney Houston and the Headhunters to name a few. As Goods recalls, “Mulgrew would often introduce me as his left hand man because the left hand on the piano is the hand that plays the bass, so I acted as his left hand man.” Thus spurred the name for this release. Through his funk and R&B infused arrangements of Miller’s tunes, Goods aims to bring these compositions into the present day and educate listeners about the late pianist’s eclectic tastes and musical versatility. “[Mulgrew] was one of the most nonjudgmental, beautiful people I have ever known,” Goods remarks, “He was also a special kind of musician that had a very open mind, more open than a lot of people knew. Although people thought of Mulgrew as only a ‘straight-ahead’ jazz player, he used to play gospel music as well as R&B.” On My Left Hand Man, There’s a successful updating, or contemporary sensibility here that lifts Mulgrew Miller’s enduring, sturdy compositions into the modern milieu with absolutely no sense of pandering or diluting of the late pianist’s original compositional intent.
The first track on My Left Hand Man, “Eastern Joy Dance” sets the tone for the release. Departing from the tune’s traditional clave, this arrangement celebrates the marriage of jazz and funk with a driving groove adorned with bright guitar comping and the cohesion of the steadfast rhythm section made up of Goods and drummer Lil John Roberts, which can undoubtedly be referred to as ‘in the pocket’! The ensemble takes turns masterfully improvising over the harmony laid out by composer Mulgrew Miller. “Second Thoughts” tells a more sensual tale. The guitar melody, doubled by Jean Baylor’s stunning voice, gently floats over the tender musings of a fender rhodes. The laid-back, contemplative track “The Sage” features a beautifully lyrical solo from bandleader Richie Goods performed on the upright bass.
“Song For Darnell” is a fine feature for guitarist David Rosenthal, someone Goods has come to rely on for his varietal approach. The track features a stellar string arrangement by jazz messenger Geoff Keezer with Felix Umansky on the cello and Amy Schroeder on violin and viola. The string arrangement of this piece adds a cinematic quality to amplify the haunting refrains of Mulgrew’s composition for his son.
“The idea of a Mulgrew Miller tribute record was actually my mom’s suggestion, remarked the bassist, “I thought about it and at first I didn’t think it would fit into what I do with my band, but then I started listening to a ton of Mulgrew Miller music and realized there was so much of his music that would fit into what I do with my band if I just tweak some of the grooves.” And tweak he does, though never losing focus of Mulgrew Miller’s deeply sophisticated, original musical intent. Goods’ celebration of the life and music of Mulgrew Miller will be available on November 7th.
October 29 - Blues Alley - Washington DC
November 5 - Promontory - Chicago, IL
November 6 - Detroit Groove Society - Detroit, MI
November 7 - Bop Stop - Cleveland, OH
November 13 - Borough of Manhattan Community College - NY
November 14 - South - Philadelphia, PA
More about the artist:
Music is the fulfillment of Richie’s destiny – it’s in his DNA. The youngest person ever inducted into the Pittsburgh Jazz Hall of Fame, bassist Richie Goods got an early start playing in church and clubs while still attending Pittsburgh Creative and Performing Arts High School. After graduating from the prestigious jazz program at Berklee College of Music, Richie moved to New York City, where he studied under jazz legends Ron Carter and Ray Brown.
Richie credits jazz luminary Mulgrew Miller for helping him hone his jazz skills early in his career. Richie toured and recorded with Mulgrew for nine years. That opportunity brought Richie to the attention of many in the jazz community and afforded him the opportunity to record and tour with a variety of jazz and popular artists ranging from the Headhunters, Lenny White, Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band, Milt Jackson, Russell Malone, Vincent Herring, the Manhattan Transfer and Walter Beasley to Brian McKnight, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera.
Richie’s lengthy discography also includes Grammy award-winning and platinum albums of Alicia Keys and Common. Richie most recently toured with Grammy-winning trumpeter, Chris Botti.
When not on tour, he can be found in his Westchester, NY studio, producing records for his company, RichMan Music, Inc. His first solo project with his fusion/funk band, “Richie Goods and Nuclear Fusion, Live at the Zinc Bar” and his latest release, “Three Rivers” received critical acclaim. Richie is busier and more excited than ever, touring and working on a new recording which will feature more of his acoustic bass work.
LONDON JAZZ NEWS
For the LJN “10 Tracks I can’t do without” series, in which jazz musicians do a deep (and entirely personal and selective) dive into the music of their idols, Richie Goods picks some of his favourite moments of MARCUS MILLER. Read the feature here.
We asked Richie Goods to share the albums that shaped his career. Read the feature here.
Name: Richie Goods
What show were you working on when the quarantine started?
Tina Turner (As the 1st Bass Sub)
What is an upcoming or newly released project you would like people to know about?
Richie Goods and the Goods Project "My Left Hand Man"
Where can people see your work or find you online?
www.richiegoods.com Read the feature here.
"This album explores the legacy of one of his formative influences: doyenne of mainstream pianists Mulgrew Miller, with whom Good played for a remarkable nine years, and who originated the nickname that forms the album’s title." full review here.
RECORD COLLECTOR MAGAZINE
Richie Goods My Left Hand Man (⭐⭐⭐) Read the full review here.
SOUL AND FUNK AND JAZZ
"Richie worked with Miller for nine years and he helped introduce the bassist to the wider jazz community, so, for Richie it was completely natural to record an album of Mulgrew Miller compositions."
Read the full review here.
"Overall, the piano contributions stand out when given greater leeway, without fuzzy electronica and rhythmic dullness. Of course I realise this is highly subjective and I’m sure those who follow jazz rock/funk and “progressive” jazz will disagree, but each to their own. The musicianship is of high standard, the leader’s bass impressing in particular, and many of the tracks are enjoyable. But as the jazz club compère in the Fast Show would say … ”Nice”. Read the full review here.
RALPH A. MIRIELLO
NOTES ON JAZZ
"Richie Goods and his Goods Project band have taken Mulgrew Miller's music, absorbed it and re-imagined it into the bassist's own vision. The vibe may be less traditional than you might expect, but the music is played with respect and love and is modernized and energized with an unfailing groove." Full review here.
THE JAZZ PAGE
"Bassist Richie Goods heads up the electric-fusion sound unit The Goods Project on My Left Hand Man. The project, Goods’ third as a leader, is a tribute to his former bandleader and mentor, the late Mulgrew Miller. It’s a pretty sturdy tribute, forging new compositional territory with a decided emphasis on original tunes." Full review here.
LA HABITACÍON DEL JAZZ
"En general los temas son abordados desde un prisma más funky y rítmico con una mayor aportación instrumental que los originalmente interpretados por Mulgrew Miller, pero eso no importa, el homenaje está más que conseguido y los arreglos de Richie Goods y la interpetación de su “Goods Project” son realmente notables." Mas sobre esta reseña aquí.
"A master of the feel-it-deep feel on both upright and electric bass, the artist, composer and producer has been a sound architect for many enduring figures, as well as a boundary-dissolving leader." Review here.
"As a wide-ranging collection of Miller’s work, My Left Hand Man is a thrilling homage and wonderful celebration of the jazz pianist’s life and legacy." Full review here.
"The session itself is hard to resist, and flows together perfectly." Read the full review here.
"Helmed by Miller's long time bass player, you'd think Goods could pull this off in his sleep but he's as wide awake here as he was on the bandstand." Read the full review here.