287

Joey Berkley & Funkasaurus Rex: More 'n Four / Etched in Stone

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Some jazz musicians have a knack for variety. There are those who specialize in a specific genre, but there are others who prefer to come at the listener from different directions. Saxophonist Joey Berkley is among the latter.

Berkley hails from Toronto but has made his home in New York City. In NYC, he has worked a variety of venues including The Apollo Theatre, Birdland and Radio City Music Hall. He works as a sideman, but also leads several ensembles.

Joey Berkley Quartet
More 'n Four
Mouth Piece Music
2009

Berkley's quartet is featured on More 'n Four, with Gary Deinstadt on piano, Joris Teepe on bass and Tony Jefferson on drums. Additional horn players are also part of the mix.

"Naked Flight," one of five original songs, has Berkley on tenor. The piece begins slowly, with the horn section softly responding to Berkley's lead. The intensity and amplification pick up a bit before the song shifts to Deinstadt's solo. Bass and drums stretch out as the piano goes through its paces. The horns come in briefly for a dramatic buildup. Jefferson adds more emphasis when Berkley takes over. The tenor goes through a frenetic series of rolls. The song becomes a free-for-all as Berkley is joined by three other sax players, each carving his own path.

"Unsung," another original, is a fast-paced tune that again highlights Berkley and Deinstadt. Jefferson's solo sets up a duet between himself and Berkley that precedes the closing sequence.

Funkasaurus Rex
Etched In Stone
Mouth Piece Music
2008

For a change of pace, Funkasaurus Rex features Berkley exclusively on tenor sax, and with a bigger band. On Etched in Stone, he funks up some classic soul and R&B hits.

"But It's Alright" begins the set. Seth Glassman's electric bass line is a highlight, as well as John Tropea's guitar solo. Other musicians also contribute trumpet and saxophone solos. An all-out horn section blast climaxes the song before it reverts to the primary theme.

Tropea leads the verses on the "Can't Hide Love." The horns give it an Earth Wind & Fire meets Tower of Power feel. Christopher Parker's tom rolls help emphasize the bridge between chorus and verse. Bill Harris performs a David Sanborn-like alto sax solo that's punctuated heavily by bass, drums and the other horns. Chris Coogan solos on keyboard, followed by Berkley on tenor sax. After another run-through of the verse, Tropea stretches out. The rest of the band slowly transitions into the chant that closes EW&F's original recording while the guitar ad-libs.

The two releases capture two moods of Berkley: the acoustic traditionalist and the contemporary funk master.


Tracks and Personnel

More 'n Four

Tracks: Nature Boy; Push; Naked Flight; Unsung; The More I See You; The Alamo; Don't Look Down; A Peace Missing; Is There No Escape?

Personnel: Joey Berkley: tenor and soprano saxophones; Gary Deinstadt: piano; Joris Teepe: bass; Tony Jefferson: drums; Lew Soloff: trumpet; Tom Christensen: tenor sax; Larry Farrell: trombone; Chris Komer: French horn; Ed Xiques: baritone sax; Loren Stillman: alto sax.

Etched In Stone

Tracks: But It's Alright; Can't Hide Love; Tachedogbe; PMS; Samia; If I Ever Lose This Heaven; Six Beauties on a Rooftop; Mighty Love.

Personnel: Joey Berkley: tenor saxophone; Bill Harris: alto saxophone and flute; Tony Kadleck: trumpet; Brian Pareschi: trumpet; Jens Wendelboe: trombone; Chris Coogan: piano and keyboards; John Tropea: guitar; Seth Glassman: bass; Chris Parker: drums and percussion.


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series Multiple Reviews Another Timbre’s Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2017
Read 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa Dos Ventos Multiple Reviews Anat Cohen's Brazilian Bonanza: Outra Coisa and Rosa...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 17, 2017
Read Duke Ellington on Storyville Records Multiple Reviews Duke Ellington on Storyville Records
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 20, 2017
Read Lee Morgan On Music Matters Multiple Reviews Lee Morgan On Music Matters
by Greg Simmons
Published: March 6, 2017
Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…" Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready" Multiple Reviews Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Albert We Hardly Knew Ye" Multiple Reviews Albert We Hardly Knew Ye
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD" Multiple Reviews Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD
by Doug Collette
Published: November 13, 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!