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ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Berenson / Scott Barnum: Stringent and Sempiternal

Read "Stringent and Sempiternal" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist and composer Adam Berenson and bassist Scott Barnum have been working as a duo for more than a decade. Two years ago, on Introverted Cultures (Dream Play Records, 2017), they were joined by guitarist Eric Hofbauer on a double-CD set of improvised pieces. Back as a duo formation on Stringent and Sempiternal, the pair offer music starkly dissimilar from the preceding album. Given the exploratory nature of Berenson's catalog, standards and covers are not expected, but there doesn't seem ...

UNDER THE RADAR

Experimentalists: Talking with Adam Berenson, Dana Jessen, and Abdul Moimême

Read "Experimentalists: Talking with Adam Berenson, Dana Jessen, and Abdul Moimême" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The newly opened Théatre des Champs-Elysées was sold out on the night of May 29, 1913. The well-heeled Parisian audience had come to enjoy the much-anticipated premiere of Igor Stravinsky's “Rite of Spring" which featured the choreography of the acclaimed Russian ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. Some accounts of what transpired that night appear to be exaggerated. There were no riots in the street outside the theater, as had been reported, but there was considerable violence in the theater as fans ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Berenson / Scott Barnum / Eric Hofbauer: Introverted Cultures

Read "Introverted Cultures" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On his 21st album, composer/pianist/electronic artist Adam Berenson continues his string of remarkable and unpredictable projects with Introverted Cultures. His early association with Paul Bley and a broad range of influences and interests have resulted in a harvest of creative music that shapes unexpected hybrids. Here we have a drummer-less trio for the first twelve tracks of this double CD and, in effect, three percussionists for the final eight. The first disc consists of relatively compact Berenson compositions and a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Berenson/Daoud Shaw: Fatidic Dreams

Read "Fatidic Dreams" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Fatidic Dreams brings together two musician whose influences and experiences are as diverse a set of conditions as one could imagine. Philadelphia-area pianist/keyboardist/electronic composer Adam Berenson was a student of Paul Bley at the New England Conservatory of Music, and his musical inspirations run from Beethoven to Zappa. A playwright and teacher, Berenson has recorded across multiple genres, occasionally in the same collection as with his excellent two-disc Lumen (Dream Play, 2014). Percussionist Daoud Shaw's credits include serving as the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Berenson / Scott Barnum: Penumbra

Read "Penumbra" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Not one to be tethered to genres or styles, pianist and composer Adam Berenson has been long at home as a jazz pianist, a classical composer, an electronics player or any permutation of those roles. His previous double-CD Lumen (Dream Play, 2014)--complete with two string quartets--was indeed a far-ranging collection of styles and genres that the composer positioned in the broad category of chamber music. With the duo release Penumbra, Berenson and bassist Scott Barnum take to yet another experimental ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Berenson: Lumen

Read "Lumen" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

More than forty years ago, Harry Nillson coined the phrase “A point in every direction is the same as no point at all" and as an axiom it has stood the test of time very well. However, Adam Berenson topples the adage with his unlimited imagination and a refined command of weaving multiple genres and sub-genres into a coherent and exceptionally engaging program. Having worked with pianist Paul Bley as a student of the New England Conservatory of Music, the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Adam Berenson and Bill Marconi: A Codex of Silent Voices

Read "A Codex of Silent Voices" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist/composer Adam Berenson is a mystery; his Facebook page features nothing about his music-making and, in its photo section, a couple of Jackson Pollock-like abstract paintings along with a Van Gogh-inspired seascape. The song titles on his numerous releases perpetuate the mystery--"Sepulchral Vicissitudes" and “Emotional Idiot," from Contextual (1999),and the title track to The Mystery of the Vanishing Chandelier (2001)--including the title at hand, A Codex of Silent Voices, suggesting Berenson is an artist going deep.Maybe? Maybe not. ...


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