4

Jeff Berlin: Low Standards

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Very Early"

Jeff Berlin: Low Standards Indeed, bassist and educator Jeff Berlin is a modern era pioneer amid accolades that have piled high, spanning several decades via his astounding technique and contributions to progressive-rock, jazz fusion and modern mainstream jazz. Following up his jazz trio outing High Standards (2010, M.A.J. Records) also featuring bassist, pianist Richard Drexler, the core differentiator on Low Standards is that renowned drummer Mike Clark takes over the drum chair from Danny Gottlieb. Yet Berlin's game-plan is similar as Drexler uses the bass for a support role while toggling between piano duties. Nonetheless, the star of the show and lead soloist is Berlin, performing exclusively on electric bass.

Naturally, the lower register is a defining denominator throughout these works by Carla Bley, Wayne Shorter and other famous jazz artists. But the leader's supercharged articulations are irrefutable points of interest. His stunning bop phrasings and piano-like soloing jaunts are most notable on the trio's rendition of pianist Bill Evans' "Very Early."

Clark underscores the grooves with his soft brush strokes, where Drexler multitasks as the pianist and also provides the walking bass notes. Here, Berlin shrewdly injects Evans' eloquence and warmth, generating a persuasive set of contrasts, especially when Drexler mans the eighty-eights. Ultimately, there aren't a whole lot of bassists who can sustain interest within this type of format, although Berlin offsets the linearity of a bass serving as a lead instrument by extending this platform into a not-for-bassists-only type musical banquet.

Track Listing:

Personnel: Jeff Berlin: electric bass; Richard Drexler: piano and acoustic bass; Mike Clark: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Random Act Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Innate CD/LP/Track Review Innate
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 29, 2017
Read The Seasons CD/LP/Track Review The Seasons
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Planets + Persona CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 29, 2017
Read avantNOIR CD/LP/Track Review avantNOIR
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 29, 2017
Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Black Diamond" CD/LP/Track Review Black Diamond
by Joe Gatto
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Planets + Persona" CD/LP/Track Review Planets + Persona
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Cornua Copiae" CD/LP/Track Review Cornua Copiae
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2016
Read "The Unknown" CD/LP/Track Review The Unknown
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 31, 2016
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Invisible Man" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Man
by Anthony Shaw
Published: June 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!