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Eddie Gomez: “I Love It All”

The supremely versatile and lyrical bassist on Evans, Corea, solo work and more

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian, NYC, May 2010
Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez and Eliot Zigmund (from left) in 1975
Eddie Gomez at the Blue Note in May 2010, during the performances that became "Further Explorations"

Just imagine: It’s 1961, you’re still in high school, and you’re playing bass in casual downtown New York sessions with an intriguing pianist and Juilliard student by the name of Chick Corea. That’s a big part of how it all began for Eddie Gomez. Little did the Puerto Rican-born bassist know that Corea would become a jazz giant, and more important, a lifelong musical ally. Corea’s new two-disc offering, Further Explorations (Concord Jazz), with Gomez on bass and Paul Motian on drums, is but the latest chapter in a story that goes way back.

Recorded in May 2010 during a two-week stint at the Blue Note in Manhattan, Further Explorations is nominally a Bill Evans tribute-the title a reference to Evans’ 1961 classic Explorations, featuring Motian and bassist Scott LaFaro. It made plenty of sense to recruit Gomez for the Blue Note gig: Starting in 1966 and continuing for 11 years, Gomez played in the Bill Evans Trio and thereby made his first big mark in the jazz world. Appearing on such albums as A Simple Matter of Conviction, The Tokyo Concert and the Grammy-winning Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival (1968), Gomez lived and breathed Evans’ trio aesthetic, with its deep lyricism, impressionistic harmony and flowing equal-partner dialogue.

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