The Door, the Hat, the Chair, the Fact...reveals Goldberg's aesthetic to be wide-ranging but cohesive: Hard-swinging tracks such as "Song and Dance" complement chamberlike pieces like "F13." Other performances contain muted [Steve] Lacy references. "Blinks" was composed by the saxist, but Goldberg's version emphasizes improvisation over the written theme. "Facts" uses lyrics contributed by the honoree, albeit unknowingly: Goldberg took them from a note Lacy scribbled on a faxed score.
Since Goldberg's homages are so sly, the record's charms are equally accessible to the neophyte and to the Lacy fan. Interestingly, the clarinetist's subtlety was influenced by Lacy's own elliptical methods of obeisance. He cites a 1986 Lacy release, Hocus-Pocus, which contains six dedication pieces; the liner notes mention the honorees, but don’t assign them to specific compositions. "He leaves it up to you to speculate which song goes with which person," Goldberg explains, "as a part of the joy of participating in that music." One of the particular joys of The Door is its demonstration that tributes need not be mired in the past.