Aaron Goldberg is one of the young, extremely talented pianists who I hope will be recognized as such this year with the recent releases of two absolutely compelling recordings, "Bienestan", with Guillermo Klein in 2011, and "Yes", just out this month and featuring Goldberg with Ali Jackson on drums and Omer Avital on bass.
Goldberg is a Bostonian and began his jazz education in high school under the tutelage of Bob Sinicrope and Jerry Bergonzi, the latter in particular a well known recording artist on saxophone with High Note Records. Goldberg graduated from Harvard in 1996, and also took a year of training at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He relocated to New York after school, and worked and toured with such notables as Joshua Redman, Wynton Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris, and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra among others. He also began working with, and then recording as a co-leader with the trio OAM, a collaboration with Avital and Marc Miralta on drums.
He really came to the fore with his first Sunnyside recording, "Worlds", in 2006, followed in 2010 by "Home", also on Sunnyside. Both featured Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland on bass and drums respectively, with guests -- Mark Turner on "Home" and Kurt Rosenwinkel and Luciana Souza on "Worlds." Both discs reflect the soul and expression that Goldberg brings to his work, as well as his compositional abilities. His piano playing is rich with the nuarnces of his touch -- light and dexterious at times, deep and percussive at others. But at all times, the beauty of the melodies are foremost in each track, as well as the interplay among the members of the trio and guest solosts. These two discs set the stage for what I think are two tremendous recordings.