Bassist Andy González Dies At The Age Of 69


Bassist Andy González, who died April 9, frequently worked with his brother, the trumpeter and percussionist Jerry González (1949–2018).

(Photo: Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Bassist Andy González, who was famous for the influential Latin-jazz recordings he made with the Fort Apache Band, died on April 9. According to an NPR article, the cause of death was complications from a pre-existing illness. He was 69.

During his long career, González worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaría, Eddie Palmieri, Steve Turre, Papo Vazquez, Bill O’Connell, Ray Barretto, Arturo O’Farrill and others.

He and his brother—the trumpeter and conga player Jerry González (1949–2018)—cofounded the Fort Apache Band, whose albums in the 1980s included The River Is Deep, Obatalá and Rumba Para Monk.

He received Grammy nominations for his work on Crossroads (1994) and Pensativo (1995), both credited to Jerry González and the Fort Apache Band.

In 2016, Andy González released the leader album Entre Colegas on the Truth Revolution Records label, earning another Grammy nomination, this time in the category Best Latin Jazz Album.

He was profiled in the June 2016 issue of DownBeat by journalist Ted Panken, who described the mid-’60s jam sessions that occurred at the González siblings’ home in the South Brox, attracting such musicians as Gillespie, Machito, Kenny Dorham, Jackie McLean, Larry Young and Rubén Blades.

“There were elements of that spirit—to play with abandon and grab some of the jams, González said, comparing the recording sessions for Entre Colegas with those informal jams. “I played with as much abandon as I could.”

In the same article, bassist and Truth Revolution Records co-proprietor Luques Curtis said, “Andy is easily [the] most influential Latin-jazz bassist ever.” DB

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