10 Jocelyn GouldSonic Bouquet
Jocelyn Gould
Independent JGCD0523 (jocelyngould.com)

The aptly titled Sonic Bouquet is the third album as leader from guitarist-composer Jocelyn Gould, and is a snapshot of an artist who has refined their craft immensely. The melodies are lean, memorable and feature just the right amount of subversive turns. Across nine tracks, there is nary a single minute of excess, with only pinpoint solo sequencing and an enduring sense of restrained dynamism to be found. It is no coincidence that every track is directly in that five-to-six-minute sweet spot, the whole affair is an absolute breeze by design. 

The tracks distinguish themselves from each other through their beautiful subtleties and small details. Spring Regardless’ head is a clever one, making use of syncopated shots almost exclusively to relay its information, but these hits are metronomic enough to feel purposeful rather than a barrage of material. Coming out of the melody, Rodney Whitaker’s deep-pocket bass solo contrasts nicely with the driving nature of previous proceedings, reining in the band with the logic-defyingly easygoing time feel of his lines. 

Alongside other standard selections on this album, My Foolish Heart takes a ubiquitous ballad and turns it into a stirringly yearnful dialogue between two guitars in the midst of mourning. Gould and former teacher Randy Napoleon’s creative synergy forms the nucleus of what makes this album feel like a documentation of profound musical connection. In the first minute of My Foolish Heart, this effect finds its pinnacle.

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