Episode 19: Gil Goldstein

Gil Goldstein is an arranger, composer, educator, pianist and accordionist. He has arranged projects for artists including Michael Brecker, Esperanza Spalding, Boz Scaggs, Michael Franks, Dave Sanborn, Chris Botti, The Manhattan Transfer, Paul Simon, and Pat Metheny, and produced projects for Bobby McFerrin, Jane Monheit, Mike Stern, Jim Hall and Randy Brecker…and more.

His book, The Jazz Composers Companion, is in its third edition.

Gil’s meeting and subsequent work with Gil Evans had a profound effect on his professional trajectory. Goldstein would become the piano player in Gil Evans band for the final years of Evans career, and when Gil Evans passed away, it was Gil Goldstein who kept the flame alive as the musical director of the band.

This is an extremely deep conversation. The first half is an overview of Gil’s early development and career, and the second half is a treasure trove of information for anyone interested in arranging. Gil explains how he thinks about arranging, specifically the importance of the overtone series, the fibonacci sequence, and ultimately the idea of the “universal musical mind”. He says, “You have an intimate relationship that is not coming from your brain – your choices are so organic that you almost don’t have a choice. Your soul tells you that this is the next phrase…as you do that you’re somehow tuning in to what nature tells us from the overtone series.”

Gil really delivered some of his knowledge, wisdom and musical world view in this conversation, and in sharing that, he shared some of the deeper truth about who is as well.

Stream it here or download it from the iTunes Music Store.