The Smooth Jazz Ride (October 29, 2015) Ronald Jackson
Guitarist Terry Gomes’ latest project, a 5-track EP called Blue. Green. Aquamarine., is quite the teaser. Noted for very tasteful Latin, reggae, and Brazilian grooves, this album again puts on a colorful display that leaves one calling for more. These five original compositions are loaded with the exuberance, excitement, and exoticism that have clearly become his calling card.
Nothing jumps out in a funky R&B-laced manner, beckoning you to shake, rattle, and roll. Rather, it all washes over you in a delicious and seductive dance of vibrant moods — from the sweet and hot Latin-flavored lead track “Then She Danced” to the reggae-tinged “Quittin’ Time” to the smoky, lazy, straight-ahead finale “Not What I Thought It Would Be.”
As you most likely have witnessed for awhile now, many artists are stretching beyond c-jazz to demonstrate more eclecticism and creativity. Gomes has done just that here, as he has before, and the effort should prove to be worth it.
The Smooth Jazz Ride
The Daily Vault (October 3, 2015) Benjamin Ray
It would appear that Terry Gomes has fully moved into the second phase of his career.
Gomes’ first three albums followed an acoustic singer-songwriter pop-rock format with hints of country, but on 2013’s Shh he broke out of that mold a bit with hints of jazz and Latin music. Then, on last year’s The Sand In My Shoes EP, Gomes completely abandoned vocals and wrote five songs that fused jazz, Latin themes and a relaxed, positive vibe for which he is known.
It was a gutsy shift but a natural progression keeping in line with Gomes’ interests. The Sand was the album that Gomes had really always wanted to make, and so it seems logical that the follow-up would follow the same pattern. As with that disc, Blue. Green. Aquamarine both evokes the images of that colorful title in its five songs, which are separate but essentially work as one 20-minute song broken up into five sections.
This also is the most ambitious Gomes has been with his sound. Although the five songs sound quite similar to each other, as well as to The Sand, the appealing Latin-jazz template is infused with congas and sax (on “Then She Danced”), trumpet (on “Quittin’ Time”), ukulele, timbalas, lots of acoustic guitars, and piano on “Not What I Thought It Would Be.” A couple of the songs have received Canadian airplay already, deservedly so.
The thing is, this is one of those discs you can listen to while doing anything. Driving with the top down and the sun shining? Perfect soundtrack. Cooking? Drinking wine on your patio/balcony? The inviting horns on “Then She Danced” fit any situation. Sure, this crosses into a sort of generic smooth jazz/stereotypical island music sound at times, mostly on “Never Been Better,” the weakest cut here. But most of it is joyous and reveals layers with each listen, such as the slight downshift on the final third of “Quittin’ Time” to an aqua melancholy or the languid confidence of “Oh, It’s You.”
Gomes’ music is full of joy, major chords and positivity radiating through each note (the exception being 2009’s Loose Ends, the gem of his early catalog), which makes the more serious songs stand out that much more. “Not What I Thought It Would Be” aptly summarizes the listener’s thoughts about the song; a lovely, slow piece, it could fill a smoky late-night lounge as well as dusk as the fire goes out and the couple in love slow dances in the sand. The imagination runs free as the song envelops your soul. It is four of the finest minutes Gomes has ever put to record, and as he enters his 10th year as a recording artist, that’s quite an accomplishment.
Perhaps combining both of these EPs into one normal length disc would have made more sense from an artistic and marketing standpoint, and that is up to Gomes to decide, although I think it would do well in certain markets here in the States. Four out of five songs makes for a solid EP in any sense. If this is the direction the artist is taking his career, based on the evidence at hand, I say keep it coming.
The Daily Vault
Exclaim! Magazine (September 18, 2015) Ryan B. Patrick
Ottawa-based guitarist-composer Terry Gomes builds off his jazz instrumental release of 2014's The Sand in My Shoes with this short but sweet offering. Having grown up in a Guyanese family, the artist experiments with the tuneful sounds of South America and Latin America, to pleasing effect. The five-track Blue. Green. Aquamarine. — the title referring to the blend of jazz and Latin sounds — serves up smooth numbers.
Case in point: "Oh It's You," which goes down easy with its seamless piano and guitar collaboration, while the spritely bossa nova pace of "Then She Danced" and the horn-inflected island breeze of "Quitting Time" showcase an evolving artist. It's a collaborative effort here, as Gomes handles the guitars, keyboards and ukulele while leaning on a host of other musicians for horns, bass and keys on selected tracks. This all too brief project serves to whet appetites for a potential full-length release.
Cashbox Canada Magazine (September 10, 2015) Lenny Stoute
Ottawa composer/guitarist Terry Gomes is back on the airwaves with his latest collection of smooth jazz and Latin inflected tunes."Blue. Green. Aquamarine." Gomes smooth picking, mellow flowing style's made him a CBC fave and won him a significant fan base in Germany. The 5-track EP can sampled at the link below, where Gomes had also posted some very interesting clips of rehearsal footage, giving an intimate look at the man and his creative process. The little something extra in Gomes work derives from his ancestry. Born in the South American country of Guyana, the man's superbly crafted instrumentals resonate with the sounds of Brazil, Cuba and the Caribbean, all in the service of a smooth music with flair that goes down real easy.
Smooth & Soul (August 13, 2015) Hans-Bernd Hülsmann
Terry Gomes' chosen instrument is the guitar. Hailing from Ottawa, Canada his guitar-based music is encompassing jazz and Latin flavors. His discography shows Gomesongs Side A (2006), Gomesongs Side B (2007), Loose Ends (2009), Shh. (2013), The Sand In My Shoes (2014), and Blue. Green. Aquamarine. (2015).
Terry plays on this EP guitars, keyboards and Ukulele. He is joined by Dave Milliken and Al Morier (acoustic guitar), Stu Watkins (bass), Ross Murray (drums and percussion), Rene Fortier (percussion), Nick Dyson (trumpet), David Renaud (sax), Brian Browne (piano), Norm Claude (bass) and Tom Denison (drums) on selected tracks.
Then She Danced is already a good start to recognize, in which direction this album is conceived. A brisk bossa nova with lilting guitar music that invites you to dance. The melody is played without much technical bells and whistles.
When you listen to Latin influenced guitar music of the 60s, then you will like Never Been Better, that definitely raises a retro feel. With Caribbean flair comes Quittin' Time. The horn arrangement reminds me of Harry Belafonte's Calypso style.
Oh, It's You presents another color of Gomes' repertoire. The start covers a few Pat Metheny before the piece slides into calmer waters still having some special moments. Not What I Thought It Would Be takes a jazzier attitude with a touch of Joe Pass.
Terry Gomes isn't looking for the modern with his album Blue.Green.Aquamarine. But that makes his music authentic and charming.
Smooth & Soul
CBC's Music Matters (August 13, 2015) Mark Rheaume