We first heard from GOM JAZZ back in October of 2022, when the quintet of ‘Grumpy Old Men’ dropped their debut single SMILE. That track introduced a troupe of veteran international musicians. Together and individually, these seasoned and accomplished players have earned their stripes on the stages and in the studios of the legendary East Coast jazz, blues, funk and rock scenes of the U.S. and beyond.
GOM JAZZ is; Paul Stewart (guitar), Felix Gomez (piano/keys), Ron Fattorusso (saxes/flute), Rafael Valencia (bass) and Goetz Kujack (drums). The band’s members have worked with legends like Julio Iglesias, Gloria Gaynor and Tito Puente. They have performed as session musicians and band members for many of the artists that defined the smooth jazz, Latin rhythms and r&b vibes that GOM JAZZ now calls home.
MOOD 1 The Miami Sessions is the debut album from GOM JAZZ . Released worldwide via all major streaming services on January 1, 2023, the eleven-track collection takes us deep into the South Florida Latin-infused smooth jazz world, the band teased with SMILE. The record is a testament to a group of expert musicians with the experience to know when to rip, and when to lay back and enjoy the groove.
The album opens with the pop jazz single SMILE. SPIRIT follows, as Fattorusso and Gomez share the spotlight over Kujack, Stewart and Valencia’s mid-tempo syncopated funk. Keyboardist Felix Gomez also shines throughout the album, his mix of classic synth tones and keys of all flavors, is at the heart of the group’s smooth jazz sound.
Paul Stewart takes center stage for a bit of Wes Montgomery-style guitar jazz on BIT BY BIT, and then with some nice nylon string stylings on LITTLE BALLAD. The band continues that song’s classic r&b feel with the laidback NOW’S THE TIME, POINT OF VIEW, and the title track MOOD 1. On the latter, Rafael conjures his inner Jaco, for a beautiful fretless bass solo.
MIDNIGHT GROOVE takes us on a mellow and romantic ride. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST dives deep into the Spyro Gyra-style 80’s fusion that best defines the group’s sound. MOOD 1 The Miami Sessions closes with two versions of the excellent DOUBLE DIP a.k.a. Califa. The song pairs a solid New York City funk groove with a simmering Cubano-Miami heat.
Check out GOM JAZZ’s debut album MOOD 1 The Miami Sessions in its entirety below. You can also listen on your favorite streaming service. Follow the links below to connect with GOM JAZZ. Get on their socials and get in the loop on all of the music to come from this exciting new group.