227

Greg Burk Quartet: Carpe Momentum

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Greg Burk Quartet: Carpe Momentum Pianist Greg Burk may only be known to a small group of listeners, but that's a situation that should change, and on the strength of his latest release, Carpe Momentum , it should change right now. With but a few recordings to his name since he emerged in the late '90s, Burk is already a well- formed composer and player, with a disposition towards post bop, peppered with a sense of freedom that gives it a distinctive edge.

Fleshing out this date to a quartet from his last date, Checking In (Soul Note, '02), Burk brings back bassist Jonathan Robinson, a bassist with a big sound who is as capable of melodic arco work as he is of swinging hard, as he does on "Burk's Quirks." Fans of Gerald Cleaver's work on Thirsty Ear recordings including pianist Craig Taborn's Light Made Lighter and Matthew Shipp's electronica records Equilibrium and Harmony and Abyss will be surprised to hear him in a more-or-less straightforward session, albeit one with its fair share of free moments. But the real revelation is saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, a player with a reputation that is, sadly, far bigger than his audience. A saxophonist who may have originally come from the Coltrane school, Bergonzi is nevertheless his own man, with a less brittle sound than Coltrane, but an equally inventive and expressionist approach to everything from the circuitous "Serena Al Telefono" to the tender ballad, "Hymn for Her."

Burk's compositions can revolve around complex conceits, as in "Look to the Astroid," which, as the liner notes describe, "juxtapose two tempii, fast and slow, co-existing as does a heavenly body's speed against the length of its journey through space," to the more open-ended "Ink," where free passages are linked by miniature rubato passages at the start, middle and end of the tune. "For George Russell," based around the circle of fifths, swings harder than anything else on the record, while "Hupid Stumid" is a quirky piece that, again, opens the group into freer territory, all the while based around a loose modal idea that glues everything together. "Song for Sara" is the most lyrical piece on the record, with some beautiful arco work from Robinson.

Burk cites Paul Bley as a major influence, and to be sure, the spirit of Bley is present during the freer passages; but Burk is broader than that, with a melodic style and comfortable sense of swing that comes equally from McCoy Tyner and, to a lesser extent, Herbie Hancock.

With a set of thoughtfully-composed pieces that traverse a variety of terrains, and strong playing from everyone—including a rare appearance by Bergonzi on soprano saxophone— Carpe Momentum does, indeed, size the moment, and demands the listener's attention throughout.

Visit Greg Burk on the web.


Track Listing: Burk's Quirks; Serena Al Telefono; Hymn For Her; Ink; Look to the Astroid; For George Russell; Hupid Stumid; Song For Sara.

Personnel: Greg Burk: piano, composer; Jerry Bergonzi: tenor and soprano saxophone; Jonathan Robinson: bass; Gerald Cleaver: drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Soul Note | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Further Explorations" CD/LP/Track Review Further Explorations
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Dixie Chicken" CD/LP/Track Review Dixie Chicken
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 28, 2016
Read "New Normal" CD/LP/Track Review New Normal
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "Iceland" CD/LP/Track Review Iceland
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Wheel of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Wheel of Time
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 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!