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by Jack Bowers
Puerto Rican-born pianist Edsel Gomez hasn't recorded any albums as leader since his Grammy-nominated debut, Cubist Music, in 2007--he has been far too busy--but that doesn't mean he hasn't harbored such plans in the back of his mind. Now in his early 50s, Gomez decided the time was right to enter a studio again, the result of which is Road to Udaipur, a resplendent cornucopia of Latin-centered jazz that pays tacit homage to a pair of his mentors, Chick Corea ...read more
by Ernest Barteldes
Puerto Rican pianist Edsel Gomez lived in Brazil for ten years, and that country's influence is evident in his playing. His Caribbean roots have not been lost, however, and a blend of those different tendencies is evident on Gomez's debut as a leader. One of the first tracks that stands out on Cubist Music is Lady Bug, a blend of Latin and bebop with horns (played by Don Byron, David Sanchez, Miguel Zenon, Steve Wilson and Greg ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
A prodigious musician who led his first salsa band at the age of nine, Edsel Gomez is continuing to impress as a dynamic pianist in various bands and through associations with artists like clarinetist Don Byron and saxophonist David Sanchez. His latest release and American debut, Cubist Music, aurally translates the ideas of cubist art by combining building blocks into melodic motifs. The resulting music is captivating, filled with shifting patterns and arrangements that are melodic, complex, and vibrant.read more
by John Kelman
Puerto Rican-born pianist Edsel Gomez created a significant stir when he first appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, on clarinetist Don Byron's Tuskegee Experiments (Elektra/Nonesuch, 1990). Byron's challenging compositions--cerebral yet emotionally resonant--required players who were conversant with conventional jazz tradition, but equally prepared to go beyond it. Gomez's choppy yet fluidly cohesive style, especially on the idiosyncratically lyrical Next Love, was the perfect foil for the quirky melodicism of both Byron and guitarist Bill Frisell.
But while Gomez would appear on ...read more
by Chris May
Pianist/composer Edsel Gomez's assured and magnificent debut album Cubist Music is one to file alongside Daniele D'Agaro's remarkable Chicago Overtones, released this past summer. Each presents a strain of vigorous and creative nu-hard bop, in the tradition but also bursting out of it, and each conveys a vivid sense of place. Just as D'Agaro's album could only have been made in Chicago, so Gomez's screams New York.
Cubist Music" isn't a reference to Gomez's roots--he was born in Puerto Rico, ...read more