Jazz CD Reviews

Eddie Gomez – Per Sempre – BFM Jazz

Introspective jazz from a master bassist…

Published on June 10, 2012

Eddie Gomez – Per Sempre – BFM Jazz

Eddie Gomez – Per Sempre – BFM Jazz 302 062 414 2, 55:42 ****:

(Eddie Gomez, bass; Marco Pignataro, tenor and soprano sax; Matt Marvuglio, flute; Teo Ciavarella, piano; Massimo Manzi, drums)

Eddie Gomez has been a first choice bass player since the 1960s. He was one of Bill Evans’ most well known bassists for many years and followed his eleven-year tenure with Evans by time with Chick Corea and Hank Jones. He has been a group leader and recorded for Columbia Records.

Recorded in Dec. 2009 in Italy with a local quartet, Eddie Gomez’ latest release, Per Sempre, has the understated power to deeply move fans of Gomez, especially in a late night “lights down low” setting. Made up of original compositions by Eddie and his group, with the exception of “Stella By Starlight,” Per Sempre concentrates on gentle melodies laid down by the flute and saxophone of Marvuglio and Pignataro. In addition Eddie’s interplay with pianist Ciavarella even brings to mind Eddie’s time with Evans.

The opening track, “Arianna,” features Eddie’s sumptuous pizzicato bass fingering. The soprano sax and bass blend is both mournful and yet uplifting. Teo’s piano is miked just right to fit in with Gomez and the reeds. “Bologna d’ Inverno” brings Massimo Manzi into a more prominent role as he ably sets a stage for Marvuglio’s lead flute.

“Why Cry?,” the longest track, lets the flute and tenor set a laid back mood and the recording quality is so top notch that you can hear the flutist breathe. Gomez vocalizes during his solo. “Forever” features Pignataro on tenor; his husky old school tone is winning and Ciavarella broadens his range as a painter experiments with new color hues. “Pops and Alma” features Eddie’s Arco bass prowess, and here Gomez shows he is still on top of his game at nearly 68 years old.

The standard, “Stella By Starlight” is a feature for the reeds, who gently nudge the vibe into mainstream territory, while “Homesick” returns to the chamber jazz feel of the original compositions. The closing “Epilogue” will be a good test of the woofer quality inherent in your stereo speakers, and may push your car’s speakers to their limits.

Per Sempre is a special issue in Eddie Gomez’ discography as a group leader. Kudos also go out to the engineer Max Giardina, for a superb recording.

TrackList: Arianna, Bologna d’Inverno, Why Cry?, Forever, Pops and Alma, Stella by Starlight, Homesick, Epilogue

—Jeff Krow

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