175

John Lindberg - Karl Berger: Duets 1

J Hunter By

Sign in to view read count
John Lindberg - Karl Berger: Duets 1 Bassist John Lindberg describes his thirty-year creative partnership with pianist/vibraphonist Karl Berger as a "symbiosis," which Wikipedia defines as "the living together in... prolonged close association of members of two usually different species, with beneficial or deleterious consequences... If you accept that definition on its face and apply it to Duets 1, you must admit the results of Lindberg and Berger's collaboration have been nothing but beneficial.

Duets 1 is made up of a series of improvisational mosaics; Lindberg and Berger get individual credit for the compositions—for instance, "Innocuous is identified as a Berger tune—but each piece is clearly the work of a unit. Berger takes the lead on "Innocuous, building beautiful lead lines off of logical progressions, but the overall piece is akin to watching two people paint the same masterpiece from opposite sides of the canvas, soloing with each other as they solo against each other. The result is so perfect that it had to come from one mind.

"Dakini resolves itself as a loving portrait of someone near and dear, while "Yatan-Na is a staggering representation that suggests water falling down a rock face. "3-3-3-7 is just that—a series of figures Lindberg lays down as a foundation for the pair to launch into different directions—while "Chromatic Ways has Lindberg following Berger's lines just a few seconds behind, adding his own shading to the colors Berger has already splashed onto the canvas. David Izenzen's "In My Mind's Eye is almost prayerful at the start, then gets higher and wilder as the players ratchet up the energy until they practically disappear, only to re-form at the end of the piece. All of it echoes Lindberg's take on the partnership: "Creating, collaborating, inventing, moving, and renewing.

Berger has a superb sense of touch, whether he plays keyboards or vibes. The lighter he plays, the better he gets: There is a wonderful tenderness to his piano on another Izenzen tune, "I Am A Leaf for Today ; you feel the protagonist's connection with life and the acceptance of whatever the day brings from moment to moment. His vibes paint light over darkness on "Ancient Warmth and add an echo to the blues on Ornette Coleman's "Peace. Lindberg's bass work shares Berger's sense of subtlety, which makes Lindberg's forceful moments that much more affecting. A single slash of Lindberg's bow on "Yatan-Na shocks you to your core, and his work on "3-3-3-7 gets more powerful and percussive until he literally becomes a percussionist, banging out the beat on the shell of the bass.

The "1 in Duets 1 assumes there will be others. That jibes with Lindberg's statement that the disc is "the artistic trailhead of a path we have only but begun to tread upon. The Empire Strikes Back notwithstanding, I've never been a huge fan of sequels. But given the marvelous scope of Duets 1, Duets 2 is a follow-up I'd watch for.


Track Listing: Innocuous; Peace; Chromatic Ways; I am A Leaf for Today; 3-3-3-7; Dakini; Yatan-Na; In My Minds Eye; Ancient Warmth.

Personnel: John Lindberg: bass; Karl Berger: piano, vibraphone.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Between the Lines | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "I Long To See You" CD/LP/Track Review I Long To See You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Collectables" CD/LP/Track Review Collectables
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "All L.A. Band" CD/LP/Track Review All L.A. Band
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 4, 2016
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "This is Life" CD/LP/Track Review This is Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 29, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!