New York based modern jazz pianist Borah Bergman and alto-soprano saxophonist Oliver Lake go at it in a series of highly interactive duets recorded “Live at the Knitting Factory”.
On “A New Organization” the duo provide plenty of expressive dialogue and seemingly intuitive improvisations while Oliver Lake, a long-standing member of the World Saxophone Quartet revisits his avant-garde roots on this project. Bergman’s enterprising and thoroughly interesting piano exercises reside within the Cecil Taylor or Fred Van Hove school; however, his vigorous yet flexible approach carries an identifiable stamp of control and individualism. Lake and Bergman run through various motifs, peaks and valleys and generally presuppose each other’s intentions and articulations, which seems uncanny at times. Throughout, Lake provides ammunition for Bergman as he utilizes his vast musical arsenal consisting of an explosive technique, keen expressionism through extended notes, vibrato and unusual sounds from his alto or soprano sax. On the 14 minute “Forever Fervent” all hell breaks loose as the energy levels accelerate to near supernatural proportions.
All 5 compositions are by Borah Bergman as the modern free-jazz approach consisting of lengthy improvisations by both parties sustain interest. The synergy fares well as Bergman and Lake are working from similar planes. These guys are in touch with one another and the results are at times fascinating. *** ½
Recorded Live at the Knitting Factory on July 8th, 1997
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.