All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Randy Bernsen: Grace Notes

Geannine Reid By

Sign in to view read count
Grace Notes is a tasteful album, chalked full of fresh, creative compositions by guitarist Randy Bernsen. If you like the Rippingtons, Weather Report or the Yellowjackets, you will love this CD, too! As a composer and player, Bernsen possesses a unique creative vibe that does combine a wonderful "grace" that you can hear in every note he plays or writes. His cool, yet extraordinary talent is augmented by an all-star cast including: Yellowjackets co-founders Jimmy Haslip and Russell Ferrante, drummers Peter Erskine, Gary Novak and Virgil Donati, keyboardist Scott Kinsey, Mac Chew and Colin James, saxophonist Steve Tavaglione, percussionists Luis Conte, Archie Pena, blues harmonica ace Rockin' Jake Band and Julius Pastorius (Jaco's son). Grace Notes is co-produced by Haslip, Grace Notes travels through many different musical elements. Bernsen is always melodic and interesting; regardless if he is writing lines and arrangements with a soul-jazz, bluesy or rippin' on a second line feel, his note choices and delivery is always simply beautiful. Even though the members on the project shuffle around, each selection always finds a spirit of great pleasure by the players that comes across to the listener.

Highlights are many, but my favorites are "Red Clay," an excellent arrangement and Bernsen's guitar solo is a first-rate study in taste and development. "Indian Rivers" has a wonderful uplifting feel and melody that is supported by Haslip's incredibly rock solid bass sounds, combined with the rhythmic colors and feel of Erskine's drums. Bernsen's solo is a perfect balance of consonance and dissonance, truly a master of tension and release within his musical phrases. Lenon and McCartney's "She's A Woman" is a pleasant surprise and fits in well with the projects character and flow. Again, Bernsen's playing is just top-shelf with just the right amount of "twang," a few phrases even reminded me of the late great Danny Gatton; excellent playing.

This is an unexpected collection of tunes and the playing is going to have you enjoying this great album for hours and years to come, thanks to Bernsen for adding the "grace," to these notes, both as a guitarist, composer and arranger!

Track Listing: Black Top; Red Clay; Grace; Indian Rivers; She’s a Woman; Blues Traveler; Freddie’s Conversion; Malibu Man.

Personnel: Randy Bernsen: guitar and guitar synths; Jimmy Haslip: bass (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8); Trey Henry: acoustic bass (track 2); Peter Erskine: drums (tracks 2, 8); Gary Novak: drums (tracks 1, 7); Virgil Donati: drums (track 3); Julius Pastorius: drums (track 3); Russell Ferrante: piano and synths (track 1); Steve Tavaglione: saxophone and synth horns (track 2 and 4 ); Max Boiko: trumpet (track 2 and 6); Luis Conte: percussion (track 2, 4, 5); Colin James -rhodes and piano (tracks 6, 7); Scott Kinsey: organ and rhodes (track 3, 4, 7, 8); Mac Chew: synths (track 3 and 7); Archie Pena -Percusion (track 5); Rockin’ Jake: harmonica (track 5); Torin Lawson: DJ (track 7); Robert Thomas, Jr.: hand drums (track 8).

Title: Grace Notes | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Jerico Jams

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Grace Notes

Grace Notes

Jerico Jams
2016

buy
Grace Notes

Grace Notes

Jerico Jams
2015

buy
AppTeaser

AppTeaser

Self Produced
2012

buy
Music For Planets, People & Washing Machines

Music For Planets,...

Self Produced
2004

buy
Calling Me Back Home

Calling Me Back Home

Self Produced
2003

buy
Live @ Tavern 213

Live @ Tavern 213

Self Produced
1997

buy

Related Articles

Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Language CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Language
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley CD/LP/Track Review
Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Earth CD/LP/Track Review
Earth
by Chris May
Published: May 20, 2018
Read Vegir CD/LP/Track Review
Vegir
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Mal Sirine" CD/LP/Track Review Mal Sirine
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Modicana" CD/LP/Track Review Modicana
by John Sharpe
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "Thelonious Sphere Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Thelonious Sphere Monk
by Kevin Press
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Down Memory Lane, Vols 3 and 4" CD/LP/Track Review Down Memory Lane, Vols 3 and 4
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 17, 2018
Read "Osmosis" CD/LP/Track Review Osmosis
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 25, 2018