Christmas Engagements
Listen for Life Benefit at Zankel Hall on January 8th

Aaron Goldberg Trio at the Jazz Standard

by Linda Hutchinson

"Energetic" is always the verb that comes to my mind when I think of Aaron Goldberg’s piano playing.  Listening to the man work his frenzied magic on the Steinway at the Jazz Standard on Friday night was no exception.  Goldberg's refreshingly melodic outbursts were complemented by the richly intense bass of Reuben Rogers and the powerful rhythms of drummer Gregory Hutchinson.

Between songs, Goldberg told delightfully witty tales depicting the journey each piece took to completion. He spoke of how his new CD Bienestan is named for "an imaginary country formed in the recesses of our minds where only good things happen." As it happens, I met a gentleman who was visiting the United States from Austria. He had already seen the trio perform two nights prior to this show, and was drawn to return for a third time.

A Boston native, Goldberg had his mellow moments:  Manhã de Carnaval is subdued and mysterious at first, but then transformed into a fiery storm that engulfed the audience.  My only complaint was that when this melodious magic carpet ride was over, I had to take the very real subway back home.