Bar code: 84 27328 42094 5
"The Unmistakable talent of Jose Luis Gámez"
It is impossible to label a guitarist like José Luis Gámez. His discs are full of tunes that easily equal those of his favourite artists like Kenny Burrell or even his hero, Wes Montgomery, or alongside his favourite American and Latin jazz artists. He avoids obvious catagories and follows a very personal path in music.
Gámez recognises his roots in his latest offerings, "Rumbo Norte" (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2000) and "Quattro" (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2000), in which we can discover what it is that moves the guitarist from both sides of the Atlantic. "My sound includes a little of everything. As a jazz musician, I feel that I have influences from Amercian musicians, because when I was studying music I would listen to all types of Amercian music. In fact, I like all types of music in general, and I'm sure that I have some Latin influences somewhere that I can't hear personally but that my listeners will pick up on".
The two new albums by Gámez reveal a lot about his apporach to the guitar, his arranging, and about Jazz in general. On "Quattro", the guitarist features a new formation, with a a stronger and defined sound, with each memeber of the band bringing their own personal touch to the recording and a new sound to older tunes, like "Old Style" and "Sin Limite".
Although "Quattro" has a more acoustic and intimate sound, it is still a daring release. On "Rumbo Norte", Perico Sambeat (saxophone) and Bernardo Sassetti (piano) dominate the early pieces ("Aire Puro" and the title-track), with Gámez limiting his playing to a supporting role. The live sound reproduces exactly that: Gámez decides to highlight the odd tunes with a surprisingly dense solo, then only to disappear into the band sound to allow Sambeat step up with one of his well-rounded and well-placed solos. "The first album that came along was 'Rumbo Norte'. It was a project that I've been working on for the last two years but could never seem to finish, it was only when I found the right musicians and had the material ready, that I finally decided to go ahead and record the album".
Both albums are independent of each other yet both carry the unmistakeable stamp of Gámez. Fans of jazz guitar may well opt for "Quattro", as it reflects Gámez's dominance of his beloved Gibson 175, while general jazz fans should take home the subtlety and smoothness of "Rumbo Norte". Then again, whichever you choose, it will always be a good choice."
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