143

Josh Berman: Old Idea

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Cornetist Josh Berman is no stranger to the improvised music scene. He not only leads his own bands—Josh Berman's Old Idea and Josh Berman and His Gang—he has played with some major improvisers including Bill Dixon, Ken Vandermark and Ab Baars. Berman goes beyond performance in his involvement as co- founder of the Umbrella Music Group and the co-curator and vice president of the Emerging Improvisers Organization.

Berman is a thinker, an approach that pays rich dividends in his music. He posts his pedestal through changes of timbre and pulse, envisaging direction and then fertilizing it with his imagination. What emerges is a score of sonic brilliance. The textures are colored by his band, in the tinkling of the vibraphone, the bracing thrust of the tenor sax, the pacing of the bass and the angular beat of the drum.

Surprise is one of the keynotes of the record. A composition can rise with one form and then cast off to find its body in another. It all starts out "On Account of a Hat" where vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz and bassist Anton Hatwich hold a gentle conversation. Berman swings by, pauses and then opens out a whole new land of adventure, shooting phrases, investing a melody into the fold, letting the inherent seed of the song flower. Tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson powers the grain without overwhelming it, in contrast to the sparkle of Adasiewicz and the rhythm of drummer Nori Tanuka, who turns the beat around with his enticing sense of rhythm.

The measure of the band is seen in the way they give their language eloquence. "Almost Love" is a beautiful ballad and stays within the confines of the theme. Enveloped in gentle folds and sparked by luminous playing, the band makes the narrative unforgettable. Intersecting lines are the pathway for "What Can" before they dissolve into symmetry. Form coalesces on the sprightly manifestations of the vibraphone only to be cut loose by Berman who fires tensile, brassy lines.

Berman is invigorating on his maiden voyage as leader. And all that can do is augur well for an exciting future.

Track Listing: On Account of a Hat; Next Year A; Let's Pretend; Nori; Next Year B; Almost Late; What Can?; Db; Next Year C.

Personnel: Josh Berman: cornet; Keefe Jackson: tenor saxophone; Jason Adasiewicz: vibraphone; Anton Hatwich: bass; Nori Tanaka: drums.

Title: Old Idea | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
A Dance And A Hop

A Dance And A Hop

Delmark Records
2015

buy
Feel Beetrr

Feel Beetrr

Veto Records
2014

buy
There Now

There Now

Delmark Records
2012

buy
 

Gather

Delmark Records
2012

buy
Old Idea

Old Idea

Delmark Records
2009

buy
 

Last Distraction

Little Angel Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Karl Ackermann
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Dan McClenaghan
July 16, 2019
Read Movimenti Album Reviews
Movimenti
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read A New Home Album Reviews
A New Home
By Mark Corroto
July 16, 2019