Goodbye Mr. Tommy Gumina

Il 28 Ottobre è scomparso Tommy Gumina.
Tutto quello che io avrei voluto fare con la musica, lui l’ha fatto 40 anni prima. Un musicista troppo avanti con i tempi, pochi lo hanno capito.

A lui ho dedicato nel 2006 il mio CD “AZIYZ”. Il mio rammarico, per non essere riuscito ad incontrarlo in tempo è pari alla mia tristezza. Con lui, per me, muore la musica.

Tommy Gumina was born on the 20th May 1931 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
I would define Tommy Gumina’s musical approach as a “philosophical” approach: each one of his solos shows a precise pattern in sound and in the astounding harmony of electronics. The avantgarde he represents probably never fully understood him.
I had just finished performing one night in Sicily, when I was approached by an old man; the guy had been a jazz enthusiast for years and had had the chance to listen to Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker performing live. He said, “You sure have been working on Tommy Gumina’s music for a long time, I can tell by the way you play”. I had him repeat that name twice, and finally admitted I had never heard of Tommy Gumina. Some days after I was at his place, a real shrine to the history of jazz music with over 1000 vinyls. He put on an old LP of Willie Smith, and just said, “Here is Tommy”.
My passion for his music has never faded since. I was quite frustrated at first, as everything I had been working on, everything I thought I’d accomplish had in fact already been done some 40 years before. In the Sixties already, Gumina had offered his public that “modern” approach to jazz accordion I had been looking for for years. As far as I’m concerned, Tommy Gumina is simply the greatest accordionist of all times.

Antonello Messina

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