Friday, September 28, 2012

Eddie Gomez: Per Sempre

BFM Jazz
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Per Sempre

Bassist Eddie Gomez, born in Puerto Rico, emigrated to New York with his family at an early age. He began to play the double bass when he only 11, while a student in the New York City school system. Two years later, he was attending the NYC High School of Music, and he eventually graduated from Juilliard.

He quickly became a key element in the jazz world; it’s difficult to find a name artist he hasn’t played with. He’s best known for his association with Bill Evans; Gomez was a member of that trio for 11 years, and the group won two Grammy Awards during his tenure. 

Gomez has been playing and touring with his own groups for a number of years; he won another Grammy in 2010, for Best Instrumental Album (Duets). 

Per Sempre, although just released, was recorded during a tour in Italy in the winter of 2009, with a quintet. The combo members included Marco Pignataro on tenor and soprano sax, Matt Marvuglio on flute, Teo Ciavarella on piano, and Massimo Manzi on drums. The album set includes three compositions by Gomez, two by Pignataro, one each from the flautist and pianist, and the beautiful old standard “Stella by Starlight.” 

This is “classical” jazz; it won’t get your feet tapping or fingers snapping, but it will satisfy your soul. Gomez was one of the first bassists to demonstrate that the instrument could produce complex musical lines that were equal to those of reed and brass horns, and solos that were just as dazzling. He and his compatriots here present some of the most beautiful stuff I’ve heard in a long time. 

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