Amazon.com Widgets

Recent Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk Trio: The Path Here

Read "The Path Here" reviewed by

The Path Here, pianist Greg Burk's fifth release for the adventurous 482 Music label, finds the Rome-based American expatriate revisiting and reinterpreting some of the most engaging compositions of his youthful career, aided by old friends Jonathan Robinson (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums). Previously heard together with tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi on Burk's 2004 quartet release Carpe Momentum (Soul Note), Robinson and Cleaver's shared history as the pianist's preferred accompanists dates back almost two decades; Burk met Robinson in 1989 while studying at UMASS, and has performed regularly with Cleaver since 1992.The veteran trio's congenial interplay is palpable ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: Unduality

Read "Unduality" reviewed by

Unduality, a duet between pianist Greg Burk and Dominican-born conguero Vicente Lebron, is quite simply the most innovative interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach's “Invention #1" since conceived by the master. It could be one of the most striking re-imaginings of a previously composed piece, ever. In themselves, the Bach's Inventions are superlative creations demonstrating contrapuntal technique, while at the same time exploring a wide range of expressions using various styles in several keys and developing the motives in a brilliantly logical fashion. Bach's melodic variations consisted of augmented, diminished, inverted and retrograde exercises as well. Burk goes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: Many Worlds

Read "Many Worlds" reviewed by

A startlingly original improviser, rising pianist Greg Burk straddles a confluence of traditions, seamlessly balancing the spontaneity of free jazz with the discipline of mainstream conventions. A former Either/Orchestra member and student of Paul Bley, Yusef Lateef, George Russell and Archie Shepp, Burk possesses an uncanny gift for melody that surpasses many of his peers. On Many Worlds, Burk unveils an evocative array of pre-written tunes and collective compositions that exude a rich chiaroscuro, bolstering frenetic free improvisations with mellifluous themes.

For this quartet date, Burk--a former Boston resident currently living in Rome--is joined by a trio of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk Quartet: Berlin Bright

Read "Berlin Bright" reviewed by

Pianist Greg Burk embraces deconstruction and counterpoint as a player and composer, so a playful method to the madness runs through his excellent new album Berlin Bright. The opener, “Fancy Pants," exemplifies how Burk solos and writes with mild chaos in mind. After the theme the tune fractures schizophrenically, with Ignaz Dinne soaring melodically up front on alto while Burk plays a roiling counterpoint behind him. This startling, clever effect sounds like two open music sites on the Internet playing different kinds of music simultaneously; Burk drives the band by creating tension and complexity behind the soloists. On “Ugly Butterfly" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: Ivy Trio

Read "Ivy Trio" reviewed by

It takes its time, this music. On first listen it comes on like the work merely of an accomplished piano trio that ticks all those boxes labeled with qualities such as technical accomplishment, urbanity, harmonic sophistication and the like. Further listening, however, reveals something a whole lot more worthwhile.

The spirit of Herbie Nichols stalks the ugly beauty of “Hupid Stumid and that's a cause for celebration, resonating as it does in a historical sense with Burk's belief in music as a medium for growth and discovery. Thus, whilst Burk's composition in this instance hints at Nichols, his piano playing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: Ivy Trio

Read "Ivy Trio" reviewed by

Pianist Greg Burk found the perfect ambience in a study lounge of a Harvard University dormitory to record this album. He says that the environment was as close to his childhood living room as a studio could be. Burk also reveals that he was contemplating the direction the music would take while swimming in Walden Pond. More, the music here was like sharing a bottle of wine with old friends.

Burk's approach and feelings have a remarkably instinctive bearing on the record. The music traces a wide arc moving from the ebullience of “Look to the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: Ivy Trio

Read "Ivy Trio" reviewed by

Time can be a funny thing. Recorded prior to his last trio disc, Nothing, Knowing (482 Music, 2005), Greg Burk's Ivy Trio shares more in common than just format. Ivy Trio provides alternate views of three Burk originals--"Look to the Neutrino, “Blink to Be and “Operetta --but with a trio featuring bassist Jonathan Robinson and drummer Luther Gray in place of Nothing, Knowing's higher-profile rhythm team of bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bob Moses. The tunes are well worth revisiting--or perhaps more appropriately in this case, foreshadowing.

That Robinson plays double-bass in contrast to Swallow's electric instrument would be enough ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: The Way In

Read "The Way In" reviewed by

It has been said that a jazz musician exposes his or her soul and is existentially naked when improvising in front of an audience. However, those perfect performances are rare, and most of the time they are just good. At these most common times, a player falls back onto things he has done before, maybe even the night before, and pulls it off for listeners who probably don't know the difference. Jazz musicians tend to fall into two ill-defined groups: those who express themselves in an understood language, ranging from incessant explorers to technically proficient “repeater pencils ...

PODCAST

Greg Burk: The Way In

Read "Greg Burk: The Way In" reviewed by

Greg Burk The Way In 482 Music 2006

Listen

In an interview published last November by Paul Olson, pianist/composer/improviser Greg Burk revealed a very telling musical approach. In the interview Burk states that he does not view improvisation as a manner of instantaneous composition the way many people often propose. He elaborated that the key to improvisation for him “is the tension between the improviser and his or her material. So if that relationship is completely fresh," he continued, “it's not like your delving into some kind of information you've accumulated. Then it creates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk: The Way In

Read "The Way In" reviewed by

Since Greg Burk's first three solo recordings were self-released, they may have gone under the radar for many listeners. This is his first recording to have a wide release, and a welcome one at that. It should help bring Burk's solo music to a deservedly larger audience. His thinking is wide-ranging and agile, and this music should help draw a swell of listeners to his solo work.

Burk is an adventurer who is at ease with both composition and improvisation. He uses the former to unlock the doors to the latter, but he is equally adept at letting ...

INTERVIEWS

Greg Burk: Everyone Should Be Present

Read "Greg Burk: Everyone Should Be Present"

Pianist Greg Burk first came to listeners' attention during his tenure with Russ Gershon's Either/Orchestra, appearing on their Afro-Cubism and Neo-Modernism albums while simultaneously releasing his own CDs Checking In and Carpe Momentum. This year has seen Burk do the almost impossible: in a jazz world crowded with superstar pianists, he's put out the best piano trio album of 2005, Nothing, Knowing, a remarkable session with electric bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bob Moses. On it, Burk takes his interest in free, rubato playing to a new and unique musical place that really needs to be heard to be appreciated. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk Trio: Nothing, Knowing

Read "Nothing, Knowing" reviewed by

Let's presume it's not too obvious a question, almost a century since King Oliver taught Satchmo how to blow his soul out the end of his horn and say what he damn well felt like saying. Exactly what is the relationship between improvisation and jazz? Pianist Greg Burk tackles this question on Nothing, Knowing, with nine originals that investigate the tension between composition and improvisation with captivating results.

Supported by two veterans in stellar form, electric bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bob Moses, Burk navigates structured compositions, free improvisations, and pieces that move from one extreme to the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk Trio: Nothing, Knowing

Read "Nothing, Knowing" reviewed by

With the number of pianists whose style stems directly from Keith Jarrett, it's easy to forget that his biggest influence was Paul Bley. While Jarrett has moved on to forge his own personal aesthetic, Bley was the one first provided a more lyrical alternative to Cecil Taylor's aggressively cathartic free play: a more thoughtful, considered improvisation as comfortable with the spaces between the notes, and the quality and overtones of their decay, as with the actual notes themselves.

Since emerging in the latter half of the '90s, pianist Greg Burk has bypassed the Jarrett way station and developed his own ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Greg Burk Trio: Nothing, Knowing

Read "Nothing, Knowing" reviewed by

Greg Burk comes along for the third time as leader with Nothing, Knowing and proves beyond any shade of doubt that he has the distinct ability to turn a tune into an exciting and imaginative journey. He sounds more expansive here than in the past, his sense of drive and purpose given new impetus and dynamism. The presence of bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bob Moses makes the music all the more arresting.

A hint of exploration sets “Old Folks in motion before the tune settles into a nicely structured outing. Moses gives Burk an evolving rhythm structure ...



Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Mort Weiss

Mort Weiss

About | Enter

Rotem Sivan

Rotem Sivan

About | Enter

Michael Carvin

Michael Carvin

About | Enter

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW

Community Members

Join our growing community of
writers, musicians, visual artists and advocates.

John Sharpe

Contributor

John Sharpe Concert/Festival Reviewer
Ioana Taut

Visual artist

Ioana Taut Photographer

Join Us Today!

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.