Eddie Gomez

Street Smart

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This outing by bassist Eddie Gomez does not come close to living up to its potential. The strong cast does include several top-notch improvisers (including the reeds of Dick Oatts, trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Kenny Werner and organist Jack McDuff) and the music is often jazzy but there are absolutely no chances taken. The album sounds preplanned, second-by-second. A "contemporary" jazz item with Oatts playing the part of a low budget Michael Brecker is followed by an easy listening original, a salsa performance, a heartfelt ballad and a straightahead but uneventful blues. A couple of meaningless funk numbers alternate with a pair of forgettable ballads; all of the music clocks in between 3:52 and 5:38. The lack of spontaneity and excitement makes this a disappointing and passable item.

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