Vita Brevis represents maverick pianist Borah Bergman's last session before his death at age 85 in 2013. In the liners label boss Joe Chonto speculates that Bergman suffered from undiagnosed Aspberger's syndrome. As such it's perhaps not a surprise that he found his niche in outsider music--the jazz avant-garde. However his musical ability was never in doubt, given his remarkable facility to simultaneously pursue separate lines at length with each hand. On this date he's surrounded by other elder statesmen of the scene capable of following the pianist wherever he roams. NOLA saxophonist Kidd Jordan's uncompromising career stretches ...read more
Up until eleven years ago I had never heard of Borah Bergman. Priding myself on being aware of many of the avant players and being a devout fan of pianist Cecil Taylor, I should have known about Borah, but I didn't.Many of my early public performing years were devoted to playing straight-ahead and then to an inside-out approach, and when I thought it was time, I went headfirst into the avant-garde. Although many of my musical friends knew about my avant-gardisim, I pretty much kept it under wraps for years, fearing it would put me out of work.read more
Prologue | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7Areni Agbabian, Lorenzo Sanguedolce, Go-Zee-Lah Reggie Nicholson, Borah Bergman, Ned Rothenberg Mark Helias, Tony Malaby, Charles GayleVision FestivalAbrons Arts CenterNew York CityJune 26, 2010Saturday was a long day at the Vision Festival, starting in the afternoon with a series of shows by relative newcomers in the Emerging Artists segment and then, after a brief hiatus, continuing with a full night's program. For those with the appetite, between those times there ...read more
Borah Bergman/Giorgio DiniOne More TimeSilta2008 Borah BergmanLuminescenceTzadik2008 Superficially, it appears that free improvisation and ensemble jazz are disparate styles. However, both require patience, timing, musical intelligence, a strong ear and imagination. On a pair of new releases pianist Borah Bergman shows dexterous handling of each. Bergman and bassist Giorgio Dini meet on the high-wire for One More Time, an album of spontaneous invention that challenges the players and their listeners as ...read more
The piano-bass-drums trio has become such a staple of jazz recording that it must be difficult for any trio to come up with something fresh. Borah Bergman and his crew accomplish this task, and whilst their work lacks the compositional integrity of the holy trinity of Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols, and Andrew Hill, there's enough substance here to allay fears of cocktail lounge anonymity.
Bergman has technique to spare but it's to his credit that he's not in the business of applying it to the maximum all the time. Truth is, one of the elements that contribute greatly to the ...read more
The number of piano/reeds/percussion trios in the history of improvised music can probably be counted on a single hand, but some of them have been highly influential. Cecil Taylor's trio recorded such a set in 1962 at the Café Montmartre in Copenhagen, the entrée into free percussion beginning with Sunny Murray's fragmented bebop impulsions as Taylor and alto foil Jimmy Lyons expanded upon Bud and Bird, even as tradition became so much mincemeat. Saxophonist Evan Parker, pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and percussionist Paul Lovens expanded on the format in an often brutal but utterly sublime approach to collective musical craftsmanship. ...read more
Borah Bergman is a one-of-a-kind pianist, composer and improviser whose originality lies in his entirely unique approach and utilization of left-handed and cross-handed techniques. Influenced by Lennie Tristano's hornlike phrasing and Monk's stride, Bergman has prolifically released on average one to two CDs a year since the early '90s (primarily solos and duos) featuring Thomas Chapin, Roscoe Mitchell, Oliver Lake, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton and Peter Brötzmann. Last month, AAJ-New York caught up with Bergman at his Upper West Side apartment. All About Jazz: You have a unique two-handed technique. Speak of your left hand, your crossed hand ...read more