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Charles Goold: Rhythm In Contrast — Episode 63

About Charles Goold

Drummer Charles Goold has been playing gigs for a long time — since he was 11, in fact. It started with sitting on his father’s gigs at Small’s Jazz Club. His dad, Ned Goold, is an acclaimed saxophonist, best known for playing in Harry Connick Jr.’s band. When they couldn’t find a babysitter, Ned would bring Charles and his brother to the smoke-filled club to watch his gigs with the great jazz musicians of the 90s. Ned let Charles sit in on a tune here and there at first, but by the time he was 13, Charles held the drum chair for those weekly gigs.

Now he’s getting ready to release his second album, Rhythm in Contrast. The general concept of the album is exactly how it sounds: music with contrasting rhythms and styles. As you listen through the full album, you’ll notice that no two tracks sound the same, with styles switching between every song — sometimes even switching during the song, like in the tune “Resisting Arrest.”

“Resisting Arrest”

“Resisting Arrest” pulls together multiple styles for a pan-African groove. Charles explains that people within the African diaspora and community tend to draw lines to separate themselves from one another. People from Africa separate themselves from African Americans. Caribbeans separate themselves from Africans and African Americans. Even within the Caribbean, Latinos separate from those with darker skin.

“But at the end of the day when you’re pulled over or you’re going through something with the police, they don’t see all those differences. They just see African, dark skin, Latino — and they’re gonna say, ‘He or she was resisting arrest’”

Charles blends styles like a 6/8 bembe and West African groove, a bluesy, swing groove, and a Caribbean/Latin groove. The song brings a unification of sound and style that he hopes society can find among themselves.

“Lo’s Lament”

“Lo’s Lament” is dedicated to a dear friend and mentor, the late Lawrence “Lo” Leathers. Lawrence was known as the first-call drummer for Cecile McLorin Salvant, a friend to all on the New York jazz scene, and a big brother to Charles. “Some people say, ‘What would Jesus do?’ I ask myself when I’m on a gig, ‘What would Lawrence do?'” “Lo’s Lament” captures the cool, smooth vibe that Lawrence brought wherever he went.

But wait, there’s more…

Listen to the episode to hear the full details of how Charles composed his music, his first gigs as a pre-teen, and his time playing with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Plus, stay tuned for the full interview to be released when the full album is available in late February. Charles opens up about his time at Juilliard, how he battles discouragement, and chats about the rest of the tracks on the album. Subscribe to the podcast so you can be the first to know, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Learn more about Charles Goold on his website, and check out “Lo’s Lament” and “Resisting Arrest.”

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