David Berkman: Communication Theory
Like his critically lauded 1998 disc Handmade with Tom Harrell and Steve Wilson, Berkman chose top-notch musicians for his second outing. With an intact rhythm section of bassist Ugonna Okegwo and Brian Blade, Berkman has a foundation for his sound. Blade, a rising star and truly original voice, is especially suited to Berkman’s musical vision. Assembled here is a three-saxophone front line of Chris Cheek, Sam Newsome, and Steve Wilson. This rather novel approach allows for combinations of harmony, cutting, call-and-response, and soloing.
His beautiful waltz, the “Really Little Waltz,” sung by Sam Newsome’s soprano, reminds one of both Bill Evans and Dave Brubeck. He works the saxophonists like the World Saxophone Quartet or 29th Street Saxophone quartet (minus one) on the jaunty “Interesting, Perhaps, But Hardly Fascinating Rhythm” creating the highlight of the session. Berkman’s ballads are memorable too, “Remission” and “Colby” both patient and satisfying. Sometimes I heard Monk, other times Miles early writing or Herbie Hancock. If David Berkman is beyond category, it is because he is a truly original voice.
Track List:Blutocracy (Blues For Bluto); Colby; Interesting, Perhaps, But Hardly Fascinating Rhythm; Blue Poles; Communication Theory #1; Really Little Waltz; Weird Knock; Communication Theory #2; Back In The 90’s; Remission; No Crosstalk; Communication Theory #3.
Personnel: David Berkman
Record Label: Palmetto Records