247

Borah Bergman: Meditations for Piano

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Borah Bergman: Meditations for Piano In a day and age of recording over-saturation, most covering too much ground over the course of a 70-plus minute CD, Bergman’s Meditations for Piano remains focused on a massaging mood established from note one to the final minute-and-half “Meditation 7,” all in under 50 very digestible minutes.

Influenced early on by Lennie Tristano, Bud Powell, Monk, and the classical works of Charles Ives, Bergman has unjustifiably been compartmentalized as a Cecil Taylor-esque player. Comfortable playing melodies and right-hand parts with his left hand, as well as a convincing use of a unique cross-handed style, he is one of the most ambidextrous pianists you will come across. Sparsely recorded, Bergman mostly can be heard on busy solo sessions or heavyweight duos (with reedmen Evan Parker, Peter Brötzmann and Thomas Chapin, and percussionists Andrew Cyrille and Hamid Drake).

The seven original compositions for solo piano (“Meditations 1-7”) are approximately each seven minutes in length (with the exception of the first and last much shorter pieces, and the extended near-13 minute “Meditation 2”). Bergman uses cantorial songs and chants as inspirational launching material into exquisitely played ballads that patiently suggest both the work of Bill Evans and classical pianist Glenn Gould. Each note lingers into space in near-hypnotic fashion but with a complex harmonic underpinning as if he were patiently discovering the appropriate note to follow the one previous. He remains true to the distant melodies and harmonic structure of each meditation, some performed last month at Brecht Forum during a rare appearance Bergman gave with violinist Mat Maneri and drummer Dee Pop.

This is Borah Bergman like you’ve never heard before, or perhaps the long awaited introduction to the 70-year-old improvisational dynamo whose new contribution to Tzadik's Radical Jewish Culture series will allow you to learn the patience needed in digesting his other perhaps more frenetic (“smoking out bop” in Dee Pop’s words), though no less extraordinary and beautiful, recordings. Treat this as Bergman in slo-mo.


Track Listing: 1. Meditation 1 (Bergman) - 3:11 2. Meditation 2 (Bergman) - 12:48 3. Meditation 3 (Bergman) - 7:08 4. Meditation 4 (Bergman) - 7:32 5. Meditation 5 (Bergman) - 7:26 6. Meditation 6 (Bergman) - 6:59 7. Meditation 7 (Bergman) - 1:34

Personnel: Borah Bergman - piano.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Surrounded by the Night" CD/LP/Track Review Surrounded by the Night
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Volume 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald" CD/LP/Track Review Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 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!

Buy it!