Concerti is twenty-six strings vibrating: A string quartettwo violins, a viola and a cellowith a bass added on the bottom end, fronted by the nylon-string acoustic guitar of Gene Bertoncini.
A top notch guitarist who has taught for forty years at the Eastman School of Music, Bertoncini enlisted some of his colleagues from the school to arrange for the string section. The results are a buoyant and sweet mix of jazz sidling up to the classical side of sound.
Mark Feldmana classically-trained violinist who has worked extensively in the jazz genreconducts the strings, and bassist David Finck adds some beef to the ensemble. The set opens with a high energy take on the standard "East of the Sun," followed by a zingy take on Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," featuring beautifully intricate interplay.
The Bertoncini original, "For Chet," is a tribute to Chet Baker, with whom the guitarist often played. The guitarist wrote the gorgeously melancholy tune just after the trumpeter's death.
The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby"on which the Fab Four/George Martin used strings for the original versionhas an especially lively feeling, with Bertoncini and the string section cooking with some zesty improvisation.
"Concierto de Aranjuez (adagio)/Spain," played most famously by Miles Davis on Sketches of Spain (Columbia Records, 1959), is a highlight here, thirteen-plus minutes of understated guitar/string section virtuosity that has the ensemble shifting into Chick Corea's "Spain" before it slips back to the Rodrigo concierto to close the set on an especially gorgeous note.
Track Listing: East of the Sun; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; For Chet; Eleanor Rigby; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Prelude (excerpt-Opus 28#4)/How Insensitive; Invitation; Concierto de Aranjuez (adagio)/Spain.
Personnel: Gene Bertoncini: guitar; Mark Feldman: violin; Rob Moose: violin; Kelly Dylia: viola; Dana Leonig: cello; David Finck: bass.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.