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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

Edsel Gomez

By Ken Micallef
Published December 15, 2006

Cubist Music

Straight from the constantly simmering stewpot of Cuban and Latin American spiced jazz that regularly bubbles over from Manhattan’s Jazz Gallery, pianist Edsel Gomez’s Cubist Music is an angular and expressive, daunting and exhilarating disc. Accompanied by some of the city’s finest players from a range of idioms (including Don Byron, Miguel Zenon, Gregory Tardy), Gomez makes a bold statement. Every song on the disc is a Gomez original, and proceedings kick off with the nearly maddening “NYC Taxi Ride.” The track darts with zigzagging horn lines like a dash through Times Square, each soloist navigating curbs and crashes with romance and skill. “To The Lord” is equally challenging, its soprano laced melody couched in drummer Bruce Cox’s gentle swing. “Wolfville” relaxes things a bit, and is followed by the avant plunge of “Ladybug,” the lush tribute “Juan Tizol,” and the ominous cadence of “The Minetta Triangle.” Throughout, Gomez paints a lush soundscape, both frenetic and smoothly flowing.