Monday, April 27, 2015

Edsel Gómez: “Road To Udaipur” (2015) CD Review

Road To Udaipur is the new CD from accomplished jazz pianist and composer Edsel Gómez, who was nominated for a Grammy for his 2006 release, Cubist Music. One thing I love about this new album is that many of these compositions take us on various journeys, rather than just riffing on a theme. These tracks feel like living entities, like people, or at least like stories, changing, evolving, and expressing those changes, as well as excitement and joy. Also, these tracks explore several realms of music, not bound or restrained by any one style. Edsel Gómez is backed by some incredibly talented musicians on this release.

The album opens with “Tertulia Samba,” a fun, lively track, featuring some excellent work by Edsel Gómez on piano and Cássio Ferreira on saxophone. It’s a breezy number, and is over before you know it. But the following track, “Udaipur,” is the one that really blew me away the first time I listened to this disc. I love this track, the way it takes on this frantic pace, like some insane party preparations for a gypsy wedding or something, then drops it at moments for short breathers. There is a delightful humor to the opening section on piano, which Gómez returns to several times throughout the piece. This is a wild, delicious and uplifting tune.

Edsel Gómez then switches gears, following that title track with a soft, introspective meditation titled “Homesick Nostalgia.” I particularly like the way the bass and drums work as a steady, yet gentle pulse beneath Gómez’s playing, a reliable base for him to return to and take off from, a comforting reminder of home.

The pace picks up again with “Search And Build,” the title a play on the idea of search-and-destroy. There is a section of this song around a minute in that feels like a steady build, while other moments are unrestrained dance sections. It is Gómez’s playing around the two-minute mark that really makes me enjoy this track, particularly that brief chaotic moment. And then “Ninibilo Majulolo And The Bridge” features some sweet work on piano and a nice extended bass solo by Arismar Do Espirito Santo. This is one of my personal favorites. “Smile On” also features some excellent work on bass, this time by Alex “Apolo” Ayala.

“Spain-Ished Cubes” is Edsel Gómez’s own interpretation of Chick Corea’s “Spain,” and it’s a wonderful, exciting rendition. Chick Corea is one of Gómez’s major influences, and you can hear that influence on many of these tracks, not just this on this cover.

A stand-out track for me is “Charles Chaplin,” a tribute to the famous film star. As you might expect, there is a sense of humor about this piece. There is a joy, a playfulness, but with a strong emotional core, like the actor’s performances. Surprising is the vocal scatting (and even a bit of coughing) on this track. This is an absolutely wonderful composition.

Road To Udaipur concludes with “The Chant,” an enjoyable tune featuring some excellent work by Felipe Lamoglia on tenor saxophone, and of course some wonderful stuff on piano by Edsel Gómez.

CD Track List
  1. Tertulia Samba
  2. Udaipur
  3. Homesick Nostalgia
  4. Search And Build
  5. Ninibilo Majulolo And The Bridge
  6. Four Seasons And A Five
  7. Spain-Ished Cubes
  8. On Second Thoughts
  9. Charles Chaplin
  10. Smile On
  11. Bahia
  12. Brothers
  13. The Chant
Road To Udaipur is scheduled to be released on CD on May 12, 2015 through Zoho Music.

No comments:

Post a Comment