All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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 Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road CD/LP/Track Review
Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 25, 2018
Read 8 Songs CD/LP/Track Review
8 Songs
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Facing Dragons CD/LP/Track Review
Facing Dragons
by Chris Mosey
Published: September 25, 2018
Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "Bad Hombre" CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Moksha" CD/LP/Track Review Moksha
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "In Search Of A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review In Search Of A Dream
by Chris May
Published: July 2, 2018
Read "Latin Lover" CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "In the Wake" CD/LP/Track Review In the Wake
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 28, 2018
Read "Songbook" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 14, 2017