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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)

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In the world of music, there are plenty of “could have beens," but far fewer “should have beens." Count Jeff Berlin amongst the latter. The American electric bassist first made a number of marks in the second half of the musically innovative 1970s on a series of '76 recordings by singers Patti Austin and Esther Phillips, composer/arranger Gil Evans and Swiss progressive rock keyboardist Patrick Moraz, not to mention gigging with everyone from Pat Martino and George Benson to Dave ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Low Standards

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Henderson / Jeff Berlin / Dennis Chambers: HBC

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Not simply a super-group, but more like a jazz-fusion superpower as this formidable trio melds classic fusion works amid a few originals on its debut release, although the artists have crossed paths over the years. Bios and resumes would transcend the limitations of a review or analysis. So, it's the in-your-face attitude, creative impetus, and the respective musicians' gargantuan chops that account for a passionate exposition. Guitarist Scott Henderson's enviable technique as a monumental blues-rock soloist shines on ...

INTERVIEWS

Jeff Berlin: Still the Ace of Bass

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Through the course of a four-decade career, Jeff Berlin has refused to end his musical quest. He crafted a popping, percussive style so thoroughly ingrained in the recordings of the 1980s, it's nearly ubiquitous. His work with Bill Bruford, whom he met during a stint with Yes, led to further innovations in playing.More recently, he's been developing a contrapuntal style of playing that allows him to approach bass guitar as a pianist, adding harmony and melody to his ...

IN THE ARTIST'S OWN WORDS

Bassist Jeff Berlin Pays Tribute to Charlie Banacos

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[Editor's note: Bassist Jeff Berlin first emerged in the early 1970s with artists including Gil Evans, Ray Barretto, Pee Wee Ellis and Don Pullen. But it was his fusion work with British drummer Bill Bruford on albums including Feels Good to Me (Winterfold, 1977) and One of a Kind (Winterfold, 1979) that he gained greater international exposure and a reputation as one of jazz's finest (and undervalued) electric bassists. Since that time, Berlin has released a small but significant discography ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Aneurythms

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He's only released a handful of albums under his own name over the past thirty years, but bassist Jeff Berlin remains a singularly distinctive electric bassist. That he's chosen to spend as much time as an educator at the self-started Players School of Music in Florida as he has performing and recording just means that he's as big a believer in nurturing others as he is in self-promotion. Still, with chops to burn, an instantly recognizable tone and encyclopedic musical ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dennis Chambers / Jeff Berlin / Dave Fiuczynski / T Lavitz: Boston T Party

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These four jazz fusion artists give Boston T Party something to crow about. Ten tracks mean ten instrumental conversations; the quartet's original compositions are based in the blues, driven like fiery hard rock, and built upon the spontaneity of jazz.

Dave Fiuczynski breathes with expressive fire. The action of his electric guitar adds a distinctive voice to the session that's filled with emotional depth and an easygoing demeanor. Dennis Chambers gives the session considerable force through his throbbing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Lumpy Jazz

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It's not every day you hear an electric bass played with the old-school verve of an upright acoustic instrument. Jeff Berlin offers a good reason--make that several good reasons--to change that way of thinking. Alongside Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke and Alphonso Johnson, Berlin is known as a major innovator through his incisive playing through recordings and performances for the last twenty years. He has performed with such players as Billy Cobham, John McLaughlin, Jermaine Jackson, Issac Hayes, Bill ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Lumpy Jazz

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You have to really love the bass to enjoy Jeff Berlin's latest offering, Lumpy Jazz. Solos abound at every turn, his electric bass is up in the mix when keyboardist Richard Drexler is taking the spotlight, and even on “Toot's Suite," which features a guest spot by harmonica player Toots Thielmans, Berlin's sound dominates.

That said, Berlin is one of the true heroes of the electric bass, an intrepid player who emerged around the same time as Jaco ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: In Harmony's Way

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Few would debate electric bassist/clinician, Jeff Berlin’s significance among the post-Jaco soloists in jazz and fusion. With his third solo effort, amid numerous endeavors with players such as guitarist George Benson, drummer Tony Williams, “The Brecker Brothers”, flutist Herbie Mann and many others of note, the monster bassist summons an all-star cast for his latest jazz-based project.Berlin gets on track in a heated flurry on the opener titled, “This Is Your Brain On Jazz” as the ...