Concert review: Goldie at Jazz Kitchen, Nov. 28 

Opening the second of two sets at the Jazz Kitchen on Saturday, Goldie told the audience, "Music is an escape... we want you to leave all your baggage at the door and just feel good... " With her band behind her for most of the set, Goldie led the audience on a journey - something of an escape - into a world of solid grooves and soulful singing. In Goldie's world, love conquered all, sins were forgiven and musically everything was fair game.

The show, which was organized to promote and celebrate the release of her new duet CD with guitarist Robert Coleman called Acoustically Speaking, put Goldie in front of a full band for 7 or 8 tunes, before she and Coleman closed with songs similar to those on the new disc. Goldie's backing quartet (guitar, bass, organ and drums) generally stayed in the pocket; players only took short solos when called upon, and even then they knew who the real star of the show was.

The band could cut loose though. In the middle a particularly soulful version of Eric Clapton's "If I Could Change the World," the group launched into a half-time shout chorus that was both surprising and electrifying. Goldie could keep up with the band, even when at full-bore; during Sly and the Family Stone's "If You Want Me to Stay," Goldie's vocals soared over the group.

With a range that opened up the more she sang, Goldie used her voice like a saxophonist uses her horn, exploring different ranges for different moods. When she went down to her lower chest voice, I wanted her to stay there. With a silky tone that filled the room, her lower range is something most singers only dream about.

The only disappointing aspect of the evening was she didn't sing any of the originals off of the new record; she kept promoting them and talking them up, but never played them. I guess I'll just have to go buy the disc.

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