Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Bengt Berger: Bengt Berger: Beches Brew BIG + BAG

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Bengt Berger: Beches Brew BIG + BAG | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Country & Eastern


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition Extended Analysis Strange Days - 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: December 9, 2017
Read Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981 Extended Analysis Trouble No More - The Bootleg Series Vol. 13 / 1979-1981
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Love, Gloom, Cash, Love Extended Analysis Love, Gloom, Cash, Love
by Patrick Burnette
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Motel Shot: Expanded Edition Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Grateful Dead: Cornell '77" Extended Analysis Grateful Dead: Cornell '77
by Doug Collette
Published: May 6, 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 "Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" Extended Analysis Thelonious Monk: Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe  Edition" Extended Analysis Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 50th...
by Doug Collette
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band" Extended Analysis Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: April 3, 2017
Read "Motel Shot: Expanded Edition" Extended Analysis Motel Shot: Expanded Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 16, 2017

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!