I have just learned that the brilliantly individualistic musician Jim Goodwin has died. He had been ill for some time and had concentrated on the piano rather than his first love, the cornet. On that instrument, he had much of the same surprising intensity and off-center majesty of Red Allen: you didn’t know where his phrases came from or where they were going, but they always fit. An eloquent player, he knew how to drive a band!
His most accessible CD, perhaps, may be his Arbors Records duet session with Dave Frishberg, DOUBLE PLAY, but the Blue Swing Fine Recordings label has just reissued music from the Sunset Music Company (including Dan Barrett, Jeff Hamilton, and Bill Carter) at their 1979 concert in Dusseldorf. Thanks to Bob Erwig for the Dailymotion video below.
This post is written in haste, so it’s not a full tribute to Jim — but he was a HOT jazz player, fervent and intense, someone who didn’t know what it was to coast through a chorus. I never met him, but his death is a real loss. I send condolences to Retta Christie and all of Jim’s family and friends.
The remarkable singer Melissa Collard said this of Jim: “I didn’t know him well but was just lucky to be around during some blessed moments when his playing seemed to make heavens open up and rain down beauty so clear it made you laugh.”