Searching for overlooked material to transform by means of the infinite creative possibilities of Jazz, bassist Eddie Gómez and pianist Mark Kramer decided upon Jerry Brock’s score for the classic Broadway musical, Fiddler on the Roof. The duo was drawn by its passion, memorable score, universality of theme and opportunities for reshaping the songs through improvisation and re-harmonization. Brock himself certainly was pleased. He states in the liner notes that “the recording was an ongoing revelation of invention, emotional insight and musicianship beyond measure.” When the composer of the music is pleased with the results, then Gómez and Kramer must be onto something. And they are.
They have taken the raw material of Fiddler on the Roof, re-imagined it in a jazz context, paid due respect to the wellsprings of feelings that are contained within the play, and produced it as a suite. However, one of the primary takeaways from the recording is the virtuosity of Gómez as the Fiddler.
Gómez and Kramer have produced a noteworthy album that brings into the jazz repertoire familiar songs that already should have been there. Their delight in the discovery of the music’s possibilities shines through in the recording. After listening to Jazz Fiddler on the Roof (as the CD cover shows Gómez on the symbolic rooftop), listeners will not think of the play’s songs the same way again. -Extracted from Don Williamson’s Review in Jazz Reviews