Throughout my fifteen year tenure as Music Director for KUVO Jazz, few of our CD of the Month selections have elicited as much joy and satisfaction as this month’s choice of the Walter Gorra Quartet’s debut, In Due Time I have had the pleasure of knowing the Gorra family since 2008, I have seen Walter mature as a brilliant jazz pianist and composer all the while he has pursued his family’s tradition of becoming a structural engineer. After graduated from Glenwood Springs High School he won a double scholarship to attend CU-Boulder for engineering and jazz studies, he graduated with honors and now is pursuing his master’s at William Patterson College of Patterson, NJ. For KUVO’s 30 Anniversary year-2015, we selected 30 young artists as part of our “30 Under 30” campaign spotlighting them and affording them an opportunity to have our listening audience become acquainted with them. Few have succeeded as fast and as much as Walter Gorra. In February of 2015 Walter recruited NEA Jazz Master Paquito D’Rivera to be the guest of his sextet for a live performance at KUVO’s Phyliss A. Greer Performance Studio and at the Mt. Vernon Country Club the following evening. Over the last several years Gorra has twice won awards for excellence in student jazz compositions, the first being the Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award® and in early 2018 the Downbeat Student Music Award for Compositions®, very impressive!
For his debut recording Walter Gorra recruited some of the finest young talents along the Front Range, all of whom have played with Walter live on stage for several years, so they have become a cohesive ensemble. As expected from a gifted composer seven of the eight entries of In Due Time are from the pen of Gorra, the exception being the Cuban classic Nosotros (us) which is a showcase for the master bowing on the bass by the much in demand bassist, Gonzalo Teppa. In addition to Walter on piano and Gonzalo on bass are Manuel López on drums and Greg Tanner Harris on vibraphone. Four tracks feature Josh Quinlan on tenor saxophone who was also one of Walter’s instructors at CU-Boulder. Adentro y Afuera (inside and outside) kicks of the marvelous recording which will captivate your ears until the final notes of the closer Rumba Pa’ Senen, a tribute to the memory of Senén Gorra, Walter’s grandfather who passed away in early 2018. Not only am I elated to see the success of this exemplary young man in his goals of becoming a renowned pianist of jazz and an accomplished structural engineer, I am excited about the quality of the songs and overall musicianship showcased In Due Time, a recording that undoubtedly will stand the test of time!
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