Atlanta Art Reviews by Susan K Asher
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Eddie Gomez Plays Atlanta

2009 October 6


Eddie Gomez, Photo: Poane
Eddie Gomez, Photo: Ponaé

Joe Gransden teamed up with legendary jazz bassist Eddie Gomez and a 16-piece big band from Jazz Orchestra Atlanta on Monday at Café 290. Gomez will play again tonight at Georgia State University.

Gomez, who lives in New York, played with JOA on the Gershwin Brothers’ “The Man I Love,” and on two big-band hits, “Cherokee,” by Ray Noble, and “Vine Street Rumble,” by Bennie Carter.

Playing professionally since graduating from Julliard in 1963, Gomez has a distinct sound. Whether he’s playing  in the high register or rapping on the bass strings creating a percussive sound to emulate whatever he hears in his head, Gomez has a sound like no other. His melodic phrasing is sometimes suggestive of Bill Evans, the late great pianist he played with for more than a decade.

Gomez has played with the biggest names in jazz, including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Chick Corea.

Conducted by trumpeter Joe Gransden, JOA performs at Café 290 for two sets the first and third Monday of each month. JOA, an organization of professional jazz musicians, rotates its artists to provide the best jazz musicians in Atlanta an opportunity to play and present their art.

As well as Gransden, members include Georgia State University professors Gordon Vernick, trumpet; and Mace Hibbard, sax. Vernick has played in symphony orchestras and jazz bands around the world, as well as with Randy Brecker and Paul McCandless.  Hibbard, a jazz composer who has written hundreds of arrangements for horn sections, has played with Phil Woods, Michael Brecker and James Moody.

Gransden had played with the big bands of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. He has also performed with Barry White, The Moody Blues, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Diana Krall, The Temptations, and Aretha Franklin.

Gomez is in town to teach a Master Class at Georgia State University and to perform with the Georgia State University Faculty Jazztet this evening.

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