By Scott Yanow | Published February 2020
The work of French drummer-composer Olivier Le Goas has a tendency to summon the music of Pat Metheny. And On Ramp Of Heaven Dreams is no exception.
Le Goas wrote all of the songs here, except for a brief rendition of Paul Simon’s “So Long Frank Lloyd Wright” toward the end of the program. While the music is harmonically adventurous and utilizes original chord changes, none of the melodies are particularly memorable. The songs range from scalar pieces, such as the jazz waltz “Realize” to the brooding ballad “Highway Dreams” and the purposely repetitive “Oblique Songs.”
While one can’t imagine any of these pieces becoming standards in the future, their complexity clearly challenged and inspired consistently inventive solos from guitarist Nir Felder and pianist John Escreet. The guitar-piano tradeoffs throughout “Light Size Dreams” display their individual musical personalities, and Felder sounds comfortable improvising over the one-chord piece “Oblique Songs,” while Escreet shows plenty of passion during his concise solo on the relatively joyful “Break Light.” Their Methenyesque blend and interplay always is attractive.
On Ramp Of Heaven Dreams: Realize; Light Size Dreams; Early In The Morning; Highway Dreams; A Day With You; Oblique Songs; Resurrection Row; A Place Inside; Break Light; So Long Frank Lloyd Wright. (48:37)
Personnel: Olivier Le Goas, drums; Nir Felder, guitar; John Escreet, piano; Larry Grenadier, bass.