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Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet/WCS

“Passion Reverence Transcendence”

Whaling City Sound

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 Essiet Okon

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SoundCloud-“You Taught My Heart To Sing”

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Press/Reviews: The Milford Daily NewsAll About Jazz Review by Geno ThackaraJazzTimesTexas Public Radio (KSTX)Great American Jazz Piano Competition Give Him the Keys: Improv Pianist Benito Gonzalez at Twins Jazz, All About Jazz

8/27/18 JazzWeek Radio Chart: #39 Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet “Passion Reverence Transcendence

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Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet

style=”text-align: center;”>click here“…Gibb’s marimbas are a nice touch on ‘Atlantis’…The drummer brings the most personality to the record with a delicious crashing solo on ‘Rotunda’ and extra rhythmic juice on ‘You Taught My Heart to Sing.’…On the three originals (one by each member) that close the album, in particular Gonzalez’s irrepressible ‘Brazilian Girls,’ the amount of pianistic imitation lessons. (Gonzalez) On a solo rendition of ‘Naima’ he also acquits himself tastefully, if not originally…” Michael J. West

 

Benito Gonzalez, Gerry Gibbs, Essiet Okon Essiet

The title says all you need to know about how three musicians—Gonzalez, Gibbs and Essiet—tackle the music (and more) of legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. Pianist Benito Gonzalez, drummer Gerry Gibbs and bass player Essiet Okon Essiet rally around the music of McCoy Tyner on their new Whaling City Sound recording and the result is pure jazz joy.

Lavishly arranged and beautifully played Passion Reverence Transcendence is an unequivocal triumph of sound and spirit. Gonzalez, Gibbs, and Essiet celebrate Tyner with gusto. Gonzalez interprets Tyner’s stuff aggressively, passionately, with modern flourishes to keep pace with Gibbs’ driving rhythms. Gibbs, in typical fashion, charges into it with his brawny, supersonic jazz drumming. Essiet is critical and fabulous in his support role, diving into a blend of traditional, contemporary and fusion lines that pushes the arrangements into some seriously sparkling terrain.

Produced by Gibbs and beautifully captured, the recording feels live without the rawness.

And it’s all ridiculously high energy. The trio doesn’t bother kicking back much. Gibbs and Essiet drive the opening tunes, “Fly With the Wind” and “Just Feelin’,” along with “The Greeting,” which features a nice interlude from Essiet. Some of it’s playful, like “Inner Glimpse,” which finds Gonzalez and Gibbs holding onto the rhythmic motif while Essiet dances playfully around. After digging into nine Tyner compositions, the three artists each contribute one of their own tunes to close the record. Essiet launches into the wryly elaborate “Tyner/Train Express” and Gibbs serves up the stylish, bluesy jazz of “Between Friends.” The closer, Gonzalez’s “Brazilian Girls,” explodes with melody about a minute in and spends the rest of its seven-minute length making good on that initial promise. While they are not Tyner compositions per se, they are in the spirit of the great pianist and they settle in nicely with the compositions that came before it on the recording.

Together, the trio embraces, and even supercharges Tyner’s vibe without succumbing to cliches. The material is always melodic, always together, thanks to the dexterity and high energy you’d expect from each of these musicians. They’ve proven themselves on their independent projects, and they prove themselves on Passion Reverence Transcendence: The Music of McCoy Tyner.687606010222_SalesSheet

Weather or Not reviewed as “a high water mark for contemporary jazz” by Midwest Record Entertainment

On February 20th, Midwest Record Entertainment posted the following review of Weather or Not, which is the upcoming Gerry Gibbs & Thrasher People album being released on February 24th: 
“WHALING CITY SOUND 
GERRY GIBBS & THRASHER PEOPLE/Weather or Not: Gibbs has long convinced us he’s one of the driving wheel/spark plugs of contemporary jazz and here he feels the need to drive the point home on a twofer that is packed to the gills with plenty of stuff to blow your mind.. The disc opens with his new band doing a trio take on Weather Report. The other disc is back to his originals that he’s been keeping in hiding for years. The drummer that knows how to give everyone else some takes it to the next level of the game on this tour de force that’ll simply blow your ears wide open. Not a false note in the bunch, this is a high water mark for contemporary jazz. Hot stuff.”
Pre-order the album here.
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