Vinny Golia Quintet

Decades: 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


1 March 1946, New York City, New York, USA. Vinny Golia has the unique distinction of having appeared on Blue Note Records and ECM Records albums before he had learned to play an instrument! He did it as an artist: it is his painting on the cover of Chick Corea’s The Song Of Singing, his drawing that adorns the sleeve of Dave Holland’s Music For Two Basses. Golia graduated with a degree in fine art in 1969 and moved, by chance, into the apartment block where Corea, Holland and Dave Liebman were all living. He began to attend their concerts, drawing the musicians as they played and later turning the sketches into large, abstract canvasses. With the money he received for the The Song Of Singing sleeve he bought a soprano saxophone and, after taking lessons from Liebman and Anthony Braxton (also an influence on his later composing), spent the next few years teaching himself to play. Then, rather than invite musicians to ‘play’ his paintings (as...

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