About Michael

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(photos by Susan West)

I’ve been playing jazz saxophone in the Bay Area for many years. The son of arranger, big band leader, and RCA recording artist Marty Gold, I grew up listening to the standards of such songwriters as the Gershwins, Cole Porter, and Rodgers and Hart. Though my regular groups play modern jazz (Miles, Monk, Coltrane, Bill Evans, Jessica Williams, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Charles Lloyd…) as well as our own original music, I also feel a strong connection to those earlier tuneful melodies from Tin Pan Alley and Broadway.

Bernal Jazz Quartet
Bernal Jazz Quaret: Jim Zimmerman, Curt Moore, Michael Gold, Chuck Bennett.
(photo by Beverly Tharp)

The Bernal Jazz Quartet features an unconventional front-line pairing of me on saxophone with percussionist/drummer Jim Zimmerman on vibes, complemented by the solid, creative rhythm section of drummer Curt Moore and bassist Chuck Bennett.

The Michael Gold Quartet includes Paul Mindrup on piano and more often than not Tom Hassett on drums and Scott Chapek on bass. An earlier version of the quartet, with Sean Nelson on drums and Matt Montgomery on bass, recorded “Personal Standards” on the Evander Music label. (Listen to some audio clips.)

As often as I can I team up with my long-time musical partner guitarist Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert. And I’ve had a blast playing several seasons with the SFJAZZ Monday Night Band.

I come from a musical family. In addition to my father, Marty, my musical relatives include his niece Debbie Cavalier, CEO of the online continuing education division of Boston’s Berklee College of Music and leader of the children’s music band Debbie and Friends, which is gaining a national reputation. Not to mention Debbie’s own musical niece and nephews (the Philadelphia-based Cavalier family), most of whom have inspired and often are featured in much of Debbie’s music. My nephew David Feldstein is a Los Angeles songwriter, singer, and producer who also is president of Playin Time Productions, an educational music firm. David’s father (and my brother-in-law), Sandy Feldstein, was a music education guru and prolific author and publisher. (Here’s a video clip of David and Sandy talking about working together as a writing team.)

Drawing on my “day job” experience as a writer, editor, and consultant in print and digital publishing, I have also served as the editor of Strings magazine and edited several books on improvisation and jazz arranging. Recently I wrote an article for Newsweek about the 50th anniversary of A Love Supreme, John Coltrane’s seminal recording.