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Wednesday, Apr 16 1997
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Vinny Golia and Bertram Turetzky
Vinny Golia is a virtuosic improviser on more than 40 types of aerophone, including saxes, clarinets, ethnic flutes, and even the sheng, a Chinese mouth organ. Yet his "career" in creative music, which spans more than two decades in formats ranging from solo to big band, has yet to attract a label with clout enough to nurture a sizable fan base -- even though Golia's playing is accessible enough. Since traditional (i.e., commercial) channels are not an option, to reach even the smallest "avant-garde" audience performers like Golia must go the DIY route. In the past year alone, the multi-instrumentalist has appeared on at least a half-dozen CDs, all of which were produced for his own Nine Winds imprint or for similarly home-grown labels such as Berkeley's Music & Arts, which recently issued 11 Reasons to Begin. This set of entirely improvised duets with contrabassist Bertram Turetzky seems almost rehearsed. There are no missteps, no meandering interludes, no lulls in harmonic give-and-take. From idyllic tone portraits (from Golia's flute) to thunderbolt flashes (on bass clarinet), the music flows with beauty and unpredictability at each turn of phrase. Yet I wonder if anyone's listening.

-- Sam Prestianni

Vinny Golia and Bertram Turetzky perform on Saturday, April 19, at 8 p.m. at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom (between Eighth and Ninth streets). Tickets are $8 (general) and $6 (students, seniors, members); call 626-5416.

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Sam Prestianni

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