Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Borah Bergman - Wilber Morris - Sunny Murray: Monks

Read "Monks" reviewed by John Sharpe

For free jazz aficionados, it is much like unearthing a hitherto unknown archaeological treasure. For ordinary listeners, dulled by all the Monk retreads, there has been little to prepare them for the startling reinvention on Monks by pianist Borah Bergman, bassist Wilber Morris and drummer Sunny Murray. It has taken a while to surface. After the 1996 recording session, the tapes were found to be unusable with overload, but when producer Joe Chonto came across back-up cassettes in late 2018, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Borah Bergman/Peter Brötzmann/Frode Gjerstad: Left

Read "Left" reviewed by John Sharpe

Left brings together a particularly uncompromising triumvirate of veterans in pianist Borah Bergman (who died in 2012), German saxophone icon Peter Brötzmann and Norwegian reedman Frode Gjerstad. Although all three recorded after this date in various combinations, this performance from the 1996 Molde International Jazz Festival was the threesome's first and only appearance together on disc. Gjerstad unearthed the tape while seeking an overview of old recordings and was struck by Bergman's contribution and especially his shining left hand, hence ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Borah Bergman/Kidd Jordan/William Parker/Michael Wimberly: Vita Brevis

Read "Vita Brevis" reviewed by John Sharpe

Vita Brevis represents maverick pianist Borah Bergman's last session before his death at age 85 in 2013. In the liners label boss Joe Chonto speculates that Bergman suffered from undiagnosed Aspberger's syndrome. As such it's perhaps not a surprise that he found his niche in outsider music--the jazz avant-garde. However his musical ability was never in doubt, given his remarkable facility to simultaneously pursue separate lines at length with each hand. On this date he's surrounded by other elder statesmen ...

ON AND OFF THE GRID

Goodbye Borah

Read "Goodbye Borah" reviewed by Dom Minasi

Up until eleven years ago I had never heard of Borah Bergman. Priding myself on being aware of many of the avant players and being a devout fan of pianist Cecil Taylor, I should have known about Borah, but I didn't.Many of my early public performing years were devoted to playing straight-ahead and then to an inside-out approach, and when I thought it was time, I went headfirst into the avant-garde. Although many of my musical friends knew ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Borah Bergman: One More Time & Luminescence

Read "Borah Bergman: One More Time & Luminescence" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Borah Bergman/Giorgio DiniOne More TimeSilta2008 Borah BergmanLuminescenceTzadik2008 Superficially, it appears that free improvisation and ensemble jazz are disparate styles. However, both require patience, timing, musical intelligence, a strong ear and imagination. On a pair of new releases pianist Borah Bergman shows dexterous handling of each. Bergman and bassist Giorgio Dini meet ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Borah Bergman Trio: Luminescence

Read "Luminescence" reviewed by Nic Jones

The piano-bass-drums trio has become such a staple of jazz recording that it must be difficult for any trio to come up with something fresh. Borah Bergman and his crew accomplish this task, and whilst their work lacks the compositional integrity of the holy trinity of Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols, and Andrew Hill, there's enough substance here to allay fears of cocktail lounge anonymity.

Bergman has technique to spare but it's to his credit that he's not in the business ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Borah Bergman / Lol Coxhill / Paul Hession: Acts of Love

Read "Acts of Love" reviewed by Clifford Allen

The number of piano/reeds/percussion trios in the history of improvised music can probably be counted on a single hand, but some of them have been highly influential. Cecil Taylor's trio recorded such a set in 1962 at the Café Montmartre in Copenhagen, the entrée into free percussion beginning with Sunny Murray's fragmented bebop impulsions as Taylor and alto foil Jimmy Lyons expanded upon Bud and Bird, even as tradition became so much mincemeat. Saxophonist Evan Parker, pianist Alex von Schlippenbach ...


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