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Junk Genius

by Junk Genius

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Tempus Fugit 03:19
Koko 04:09
Confirmation 03:58
Wail 03:36
Shaw Nuff 04:26
Hot House 04:10
Cheryl 04:49
Bebop 03:06
Donna Lee 05:58
Un Poco Loco 03:11


Ben Goldberg - clarinet
John Schott - guitar
Trevor Dunn - bass
Kenny Wollesen - drums

This all started a month ago when I was getting ready to present a colloquium for the Music Department at UCSC. I began listening to all my old records, and amazingly when I expected to cringe instead I found myself enjoying some pretty good music! I heard a spirit, and a heart, in the music, and an agenda of curiosity and exploration that embodied important qualities from my life at those times. One that jumped out in particular was Junk Genius, a record that I made with John Schott, Trevor Dunn, and Kenny Wollesen in 1995.

It’s funny to think that this project originated with John and me wanting to learn some songs to get better at jam sessions! We focused on songs by Bud Powell, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie -- music of the "bebop" era. Of course what happened next wouldn’t have fit into the kind of jam sessions we originally had in mind – like most creative goals it proved to be a kind of inverse confirmation of Yogi Berra’s famous advice: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

We went at it with hammer and tongs. And discovered, not for the first or last time, that if you are dealing with material this strong, then your attempts to fuck with it result in you yourself being transformed into a vessel for the further beauty and truth of the original vision. And thus, Junk Genius.

While I enjoyed hearing the music again, I also realized that the sound could be improved. So I handed it to none other than Jon Cohrs of Spleenless Mastering in Brooklyn. Jon is reluctant to call what he did a "remastering," since who knows where the master tapes are now, but he did an excellent job and I think you will like the result.

I am happy to be offering this record for the first time in many years as a high-quality digital download exclusively through bandcamp.

I think Molly Barker captured the state of affairs pretty well with her painting of the enigmatic purple-faced man (menacing? depressed?) for the cover, although Steve Lacy sent a postcard: “I like the music; I do NOT like the title”.


released March 5, 2013

Ben Goldberg - clarinet
John Schott - guitar
Trevor Dunn - bass
Kenny Wollesen - drums

Produced by John Schott and Ben Goldberg
Recorded by Jeff Cressman live to two track digital, February 1994 at Annie's Hall, Berkeley, California
Mastered by Ann Pope at Ground Zero
Cover Art by Molly Barker
New audio version prepared by Jon Cohrs at Spleenless Mastering


all rights reserved



Ben Goldberg / BAG Production Records Berkeley, California

Ben Goldberg plays the clarinet and writes songs.

Contact him at
ben dot goldberg dot music at gmail dot com.

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