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Liebig / Vatcher / Golia: On The Cusp Of Fire And Water (Red Toucan)

The West Coast trio of Michael Vatcher on drums & percussion, Steuart Liebig on electric bass, and Vinny Golia on reeds and winds recording live in Los Angeles, 2001, astonishing free improvisation from three seasoned players.

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product information:

UPC: 777078910530

Label: Red Toucan
Catalog ID: RT 9324
Squidco Product Code: 18040

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2004
Country: Canada
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Recorded live in Los Angeles, CA on July 31st, 2001 by Wayne Peet.


Steuart Liebig-Eb contrabass guitars, applied tools, technology

Michael Vatcher-drumset, percussion, air horn, popguns

Vinny Golia-soprano saxophone, stritch, alto flute, clarinet

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track listing:

1. Flurries 8:27

2. Prelude 18:15

3. Aftermath 10:36

4. Transit 7:47

5. Undertow 20:27
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
West Coast/Pacific US Jazz
Trio Recordings
Trio Recordings
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Can fate be tempted? If one has the patience, perhaps. Steuart Liebig and Michael Vatcher have known each other since the seventies but while the former was living in Los Angeles, the latter called Amsterdam his home. Over a spell of time it seemed that never the twain would meet, but then, all of a sudden, Vatcher was off on a surprise visit to Los Angeles. From then on the pieces fell into place, including getting Vinny Golia to play and recording the music, even if the drums had to be borrowed.

What transpires here is music of a high level from three very intuitive musicians. They pick the threads and spin them into convincing extensions, imagination working at prime level. Their sonic landscape keeps evolving; pastoral articulation and free-wheeling harmonic structure, odd angles and some electronica sit compactly in the spectrum. The push and the pressure are witnessed in "Transit," with Golia describing manifold arcs on the soprano saxophone and Vatcher heating it up on the drums and the air horn; Liebig adds to the momentum, his bass creating whirlwind figures. Matter of fact, Liebig's use of the contra bass guitar makes for a distinct approach that adds to the temperament.

There is a different cast to "Flurries," opening quietly on the brushwork of Vatcher before Golia gives it a new dimension, etching the groove deeper on the clarinet and stamping the tenor with his agile moves from long lines that billow to ones that descend in a shower. The sound of pop guns, a growling bass and the stritch are the "Aftermath." The way they build the layers of sound is interesting as they come together as though of one mind and take the music through different characterisations, including references to Middle Eastern music and swing."-Jerry D'Souza , All About Jazz

Artist Biographies:

"California native Michael Vatcher, now residing in Amsterdam, quickly progressed from hitting household furniture to taking vibraphone and snare drum lessons as a child. In California, he played with reedist Michael Moore, with whom Vatcher has had a long musical relationship, John Handy, and Terry Gibbs. After spending a year in New York City, Vatcher moved to Holland in 1981.

Since arriving in Holland, Vatcher has played with such groups as the Tristan Honsinger Sextet, the Martin Altena Ensemble, John Zorn, The Ex, Roof (with Phil Minton, Tom Cora, and Luc Ex), and Van Dyke Parks. Vatcher is also a regular accompanist with the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam, and has an ongoing musical relationship with dancers Katie Duck and Eileen Standley."

-All About Jazz (

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"As a composer Vinny Golia (born March 1, 1946) fuses the rich heritage of Jazz, contemporary classical and world music into his own unique compositions. Also a bandleader, Golia has presented his music to concert audiences in Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States in ensembles varying dramatically in size and instrumentation. Mr. Golia has won numerous awards as a composer, including grants from The National Endowment of the Arts, The Lila Wallace Commissioning Program, The California Arts Council, Meet the Composer,Clausen Foundation of the Arts, Funds for U.S. Artists and the American Composers Forum. In 1982 he created the on-going 50 piece Vinny Golia Large Ensemble to perform his compositions for chamber orchestra and jazz ensembles.

A multi-woodwind performer, Vinny's recordings have been consistently picked by critics and readers of music journals for their yearly "ten best" lists. In 1990 he was the winner of the Jazz Times TDWR award for Bass Saxophone. In 1998 he ranked 1st in the Cadence Magazine Writers & Readers Poll and has continually placed in the Downbeat Critic's Poll for Baritone & Soprano Saxophone. In 1999 Vinny won the LA Weekly's Award for "Best Jazz Musician". Jazziz Magazine has also named him as one of the 100 people who have influenced the course of Jazz in our Century. In 2006 The Jazz Journalists Association honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Golia has also contributed original compositions and scores to Ballet and Modern Dance works, video, theatrical productions, and film. As an educator Vinny has lectured on music & painting composition, improvisation, Jazz History, The History of Music in Film, CD & record manufacturing and self-production throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand and Canada. He currently teaches at California Institute of the Arts. In 1998 Golia was appointed Regent's Lecturer at the University of California at San Diego. In 2009 Vinny Golia was appointed the first holder of the Michel Colombier Performer Composer Chair at Cal Arts.

Vinny has been a featured performer with Anthony Braxton, Henry Grimes, John Carter, Bobby Bradford, Joelle Leandre, Leo Smith, Horace Tapscott, John Zorn, Tim Berne, Bertram Turetzky, George Lewis, Barre Phillips, The Rova Saxophone Quartet, Patti Smith, Harry "the Hipster" Gibson, Eugene Chadburne, Kevin Ayers, Peter Kowald, John Bergamo, George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, Misha Mengelberg, Han Bennick, Lydia Lunch, Harry Sparrney and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra amongst many others."

-Vinny Golia Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:
Mezzacappa, Lisa
Glorious Ravage
(New World Records)
Golia, Vinny Wind Quartet
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Golia Quartet, Vinny
Take Your Time
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Golia, Vinny Quartet
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Various Artists
Kraakgeluiden: Document 1
Other Recommended Releases:
Picnic (Honsinger / Kondo / Bergen / Jacques Avenel / Vatcher / Vigni)
(Corbett vs. Dempsey)
Golia, Vinny & Urs Leimgruber
Empiricism in the West
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Let It Go
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plus Sounding Brass
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