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DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Jerry Bergonzi: Two More DVDs from the Master Educator

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There are plenty of stellar musicians who can't teach and plenty of fine educators who lack the skills or know-how to play at a top-tier level. There aren't a lot of internationally acclaimed musicians who are also viewed the world over as exceptional teachers; saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi is one of the few. Bergonzi has traveled plenty with his horn, playing his own music and backing up bigwigs across the globe, but he's made an even bigger impact in the world of jazz education. He's managed to share his wisdom through master classes, Inside Improvisation--his series of books ...

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Jerry Bergonzi: Eternal Student

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Jerry Bergonzi is regarded as one of the most important saxophonists in the world. Equally, he continues to make significant contributions in the world of jazz education. He is the author of Inside Improvisations Series (Jazzwise Publications), a manual developed in seven volumes--his eighth book is due to come out soon--that has become essential for jazz students around the world.The only element that speaks to time is his white hair, because his enthusiasm hasn't changed since recently deceased pianist Dave Brubeck hired him to tour with his quartet. Thirty years of success have passed since then: Bergonzi has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jerry Bergonzi: Shifting Gears

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Gifted tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has proven to be among the best in the business, spanning a hefty solo career amid numerous guest spots and session duties for others. With this quintet release, the leader hearkens back to the modern jazz ingenuity and reverence of 1960s-era outings for the likes of the Blue Note and Prestige record labels. However, the musicians' respective styles impart a distinct group-centric sound, streaked with a contemporary vibe. Bergonzi and trumpeter Phil Grenadier's warm unison phrasings atop drummer Andrea Michelutti's swaggering swing groove, blossoms into a roomy stretching vehicle on “Doin' The Hen." ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ergo: If Not Inertia

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A few decades ago, it wasn't evident that computers could become an integral component to music, other than some experimental persuasions set forth by the likes of eminent modern jazz trombonist George Lewis, who helped pioneer live electronics. But trombonist Brett Sroka carries the torch, yet in a different or, perhaps, more subtle light. With first-call avant-garde guitarist Mary Halvorson injecting her sinewy, odd-tuned phrasings, and acoustic guitarist Sebastian Kruger appearing on one track of If Not Inertia, the band's gradually ascending theme-building exercises often cast an ethereal panorama, cloaked with haunting dissimilarities or tempestuous free form dialogues.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Jerry Bergonzi: Two DVDs from the Master Educator

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Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has spent decades honing his skills and he has the discography to prove it. Strong solo dates on the RED, Double-Time and Savant labels, along with notable sideman work with legends such as pianist Dave Brubeck, have earned him the respect of his peers and the reputation of being a no-nonsense force of nature on his instrument, but his best work may take place in the classroom. Bergonzi has been codifying and passing along his hard-earned wisdom since he began teaching in the early 1980s. Students flock to the New England Conservatory to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jerry Bergonzi: Convergence

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Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi has become one of the most reliable recording artists in jazz. In between his day job as a Berklee College of Music professor, and performing, he turns out a great album or two every year. Featuring mostly tenor horn, Convergence follows dutifully in that pattern. The album splits between a classic piano-based quartet and the more risky piano-less trio with equally good results. Bergonzi, who also overdubs soprano sax for a few tracks, has no problem carrying the trio, revealing no weaknesses in an unforgiving, nowhere-to-hide lineup. The lone cover on the album, George and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jerry Bergonzi: Three Point Shot

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Musicians often benefit from the stimulus provided by a interacting with a new group of cohorts. If nothing else, personnel changes can remake the creative process and offer dramatically altered results. In an art form like jazz, that leans heavily on improvisation, this can only be a good thing. It is, therefore, a pleasant surprise to hear tenor saxophonist/educator Jerry Bergonzi working with an altogether different rhythm section in Europe, consisting of two Polish musicians. Better still, this trio has released Three Point Shot. A trio album leaves no place for the lead instrument to hide. In ...



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