With seven remarkable albums issued on Golia's own Nine Winds imprint, and a successful stateside road trip in 1996 -- an almost unheard of feat for a new-music combo of this size -- the group has evolved into a force of uncompromising musicality. Starting, perhaps, where Duke Ellington left off, Golia's heady arrangements weave classical, jazz, ethnic, and even rock elements into supercharged movements that take on a filmic intensity. There's plenty of suspense and surprise in the music's ever-shifting timbral contours, offbeat colossal grooves, and dynamic solo passages. Smartly directed throughout, Golia's Large Ensemble delivers finely sculptured beauty with the excitement of spontaneity.
-- Sam Prestianni
Vinny Golia's Large Ensemble performs Monday, Aug. 9, at 8 and 10 p.m. at Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. Tickets are $16 and $50; call (510) 238-9200.