Bengt Berger: Beches Brew BIG + BAG

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Bengt Berger: Bengt Berger: Beches Brew BIG + BAG Swedish master drummer and bandleader Bengt Berger calls his own label Country & Eastern, a title that suggests a fresh mix of new modes of expression and impulses from some of the great musical traditions of the world. Berger claims that this label provides the best Al Dente music, and when it comes to his nine-piece Beches Brew BIG, an obvious reference to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970), he is absolutely right.

The Beches Brew Big is a deeper and powerful extension of the Beches Brew quintet who released its debut in 2010 (Country & Eastern). Both versions of this band serve as a vehicle for Berger—who studied the Hindustani, Karnatic and West African musical traditions and collaborated frequently with Jonas Knutsson, keyboard player Mats Öberg and banjo players and guitarists Goran Klinghagen and Max Schultz.

Knutsson's deep emotional solo on "Over The Hill" spirals the original theme to a beautiful climax. Klinghagen, violinist Livet Nord and saxophonist Thomas Gustafsson lead us through a mysterious journey in East-Asian scenery on "Penye Gahu," setting an infectious vamp for the ironic "Seven Stops to Heaven" (a play on Miles Davis' "Seven Steps to Heaven}} that is intensified on the following, fast eruption of "Metapolka."

"Djupet" (Deep) is a dramatic staging of a text of William Shakespeare, narrated by Livet, accompanied by a bass clarinet by Sir Thomas Jäderlund that stresses the dramatic atmosphere. The band makes a short and equally dramatic tour in a Balkan modes on "Pizza Express" before closing the concert with two favorites. "Edith," with guest vocalist Jenny Gustafsson, is an excellent demonstration of Berger swinging hard and alternating between rhythms, and the folk dance "Morfars Schottis," to the words of Mats Nörklit (this composition was recorded on Bengt Berger Old School's All Time high, Amigo, 1999).

Berger offers eight additional, digital-only pieces on Beches Brew BAG ("for fanatics only") that include other pieces and alternate takes from the same concerts. These pieces include the bluegrass meets jazz meets Indian "Dr. Apa," another moving version of "Over the Hill," the delicate drama of "Eight Fortyfive A.M" and the festive "Happy Hindu." There is a agood chance that anyone who experienced this great band will become a fanatic.

Track Listing: BIG: Babel Twist; Till Mera; Over The Hill; Penye Gahu; Seven Stops To Heaven; Metapolka; Djupet; Pain; Pizza Excess; Edith; Morfars Schottis. BAG (Bonus): The Largo Swamp; Neander Tala; Dr Apa; Over The Hill; Dawn; Eight Fortyfive A.M.; Pain; Happy Hindu.

Personnel: Livet Nord: voice, violin; Jonas Knutsson: soprano, alto and baritone saxophones, percussion; Thomas Gustafsson: soprano and tenor saxophones; Sir Thomas Jäderlund: voice, sopranino and alto saxophones, bass clarinet; Mats Öberg: harmonica, keyboards; Göran Klinghagen: banjo, guitar; Max Schultz: voice, banjo, guitar; Stefan Bellnäs: bass; Bengt Berger: drums; h: Jenny Gustafsson: voice.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Country & Eastern | Style: Modern Jazz

Related Video


More Articles

Read Tim Bowness: Lost in the Ghostlight Extended Analysis Tim Bowness: Lost in the Ghostlight
by John Kelman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon Extended Analysis Way Down Inside: Songs of Willie Dixon
by Doug Collette
Published: February 18, 2017
Read Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix) Extended Analysis Chicago II (Steven Wilson Remix)
by John Kelman
Published: February 12, 2017
Read The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome Extended Analysis The Rolling Stones: Blue and Lonesome
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 27, 2016
Read Nat Birchall: Creation Extended Analysis Nat Birchall: Creation
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Peter Case: Peter Case" Extended Analysis Peter Case: Peter Case
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Ian Hunter: Fingers Crossed" Extended Analysis Ian Hunter: Fingers Crossed
by Doug Collette
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Jack Bruce: Things We Like" Extended Analysis Jack Bruce: Things We Like
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 17, 2016
Read "Dick's Pick's Volume One: Tampa, Florida 12/19/73" Extended Analysis Dick's Pick's Volume One: Tampa, Florida 12/19/73
by Doug Collette
Published: May 22, 2016
Read "Akinola Sennon: Cousoumeh" Extended Analysis Akinola Sennon: Cousoumeh
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Big Star: Complete Third" Extended Analysis Big Star: Complete Third
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!