Eddie Gomez

Beautiful Love: The NYC Session Featuring Al di Meola

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This is a nice date of solid jazz nuggets, a tango, and a few originals played by a killer group of veterans: an excellent trio that includes Eddie Gómez, Billy Drummond, and Japanese piano virtuoso and composer Yutaka Kobayashi. Guitarist Al di Meola appears on two tracks as well. The three originals by Kobayashi are beautifully subtle yet with a richly textured and harmonically compelling palette, particularly "Sundry Waltz No. 9," which builds from a very skeletal piano figure into a full-blown swinging keyboard walker -- Drummond's brushwork is gorgeous as well. The reading of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti" is very rich and deep, with Gómez's bassline reaching right into the heart of the mode for a near duplicate melody line. Chick Corea's "Captain Marvel" comes across as a shock due to di Meola's electric guitar sting. His other appearance occurs on the album's final cut, a deeply moving interpretation of Astor Piazzolla's "Chiquilin de Bachin," where he plays an acoustic nylon-string guitar in the nuevo tango style, which walks across both fado and flamenco in its invention. In all, this is a very satisfying and utterly engaging date.

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