Torsten Goods ‘Love Comes to Town’ (ACT) 3/5

Approaching twenty-seven years of age, German guitarist and vocalist Torsten Goods has opted for a change of approach that constitutes something of a re-evaluation of his career with a previous album ‘1980’ dating from five years ago. Now resident in Berlin, Goods has opted for a pop-jazz feel that owes a large debt of aliegance to Steely Dan in the overall sound whereas from a guitar perspective George Benson springs to mind. As for the voice, it veers somewhere between Michael Franks and Ben Sidran. Seven of the songs are co-written originals and there is an interesting selection of standards. The album is typified by catchy hooks such as ‘When love comes to town’ which with the use of fender and brass orchestrations could be right out of the Steely Dan songbook. The Doobie Brothers are evoked on another fusion-pop number ‘Unlucky like me’ which harks back to a byegone era when the likes of Michael Franks and Al Jarreau were able to enter the pop charts with their brand of superior quality pop songs infused with a jazzy edge. Of the standards, Joe Sample’s ‘Put it where you want it’ is a fine interpretation with a guitar solo on this mid-tempo rendition while for classicism in the songbook, one need look no further than the Gershwin brothers ‘They can’t take that away from me’ that includes a duet with fellow label artist Viktoria Tolstoy. The instrumental ‘Weekend at the A’Trane’ is by far Good’s finest guitar solo outing on the album and an extended one at that, and here he combines on guitar with some lovely flute and brass arrangements. Production is by label evergreen musician Nils Landgren who ensures a professional final touch from the tight sounding quartet that features the fine trumpet playing of Till Brönner. Torsten Goods is a musician in progress who needs to work at developing his own individual sound further, but shows definite potential.

Tim Stenhouse