The Descarga Review
In a career that spans almost 50 years and roughly 1000 recordings as a co-leader, producer, musical director, and sideman, Andy Gonzalez is arguably one of the most important bass players of his generation.
His impressive body of work transcends time and genres, beginning with the Latin Jazz Quintet at the age of 13; followed by foundational contributions to the Fort Apache Band, led by his brother, Jerry Gonzalez and Grupo Folklorico Experimental Nuevayorquino, an inter-generational collective of Latinos (Puerto Ricans and Cubans) whose music offered a fresh alternative to the commercial world of salsa. Andy is also the co-leader and musical director for the killer dance band, Manny Oquendo and Libre.
In addition, Andy has performed and recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Kenny Dorham, Machito, Hilton Ruiz, Mc Coy Tyner, Chico O’ Farrill, Ray Barretto, Johnny Pacheco, Papo Vazquez, Arturo O’ Farrill, Ruben Blades, Bebo Valdes, Eddie Palmieri, Deep Rumba, the Conga Kings, and Rumba Club among others.
The repertoire offers the listener a glimpse into Andy’s inmost being and reflects his diverse taste in music. Unlike the vast majority of his recordings, which feature brass and horn ensembles, Entré Colegas focuses on guitars, strings and Latin jazz with folkloric elements. Andy imagines it as, “Django Reinhardt goes to Cuba and Puerto Rico.”
The music conjures up the sound and spirit of the historic Cuban Jam Sessions and the spontaneous descargas that took place in the basement of the Gonzalez home in the South Bronx, where Andy, Jerry and other artists cut their teeth under the gaze of Latin music historian Rene Lopez.
Entré Colegas captures Andy’s essence and creative force. Truth Revolution Records is proud to present the first recording to bear his name and invites you to take part in the celebration of a musical genius and a life well-lived.
With Nelson González, David Oquendo, Nicky Marrero, Charlie Santiago, Ben Lapidus and many other luminaries.
“There was a very positive vibe in the studio. The proof is in the music. Listen and enjoy.”
- Andy González
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