Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Berkman: Old Friends And New Friends

Read "Old Friends And New Friends" reviewed by Budd Kopman

With Old Friends and New Friends, pianist/composer David Berkman reunites with the Palmetto label, as well as Matt Balitsaris, who both founded the label and was the recording engineer. Berkman nostalgically describes the process of making the earlier recordings as a group undertaking where disparate personalties are melded into a whole to produce a distinct sound. Besides Balitsaris, this recording features drummer Brian Blade and saxophonists Adam Kolker and Billy Drewes, who are the “old friends" from recordings ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Berkman: Old Friends And New Friends

Read "Old Friends And New Friends" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist David Berkman has come full circle with Old Friends And New Friends. He's back on Palmetto records, the label that released his first four records as a leader between 1998 and 2004; Matt Balitsaris, who helped shape and capture the sound on those albums, is back at the helm, serving as engineer, co-producer and sounding board for Berkman; and Brian Blade, the always in-demand drummer who appeared on three of Berkman's Palmetto releases, has returned to the fold. But ...

INTERVIEWS

David Berkman: Anecdotes

Read "David Berkman: Anecdotes" reviewed by George Colligan

[ Editor's Note: The following interview is reprinted from George Colligan's blog, Jazztruth] David Berkman is a jazz pianist who in the past few decades has played with many of the major names in jazz, including Tom Harrell, Cecil McBee, and the Vanguard Orchestra. He has released a number of CDs on the Palmetto Label, although his latest, Live At Smoke, is on Challenge Records. Berkman has developed a great reputation as an educator; he recently joined the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Berkman: Live at Smoke

Read "Live at Smoke" reviewed by Ken Dryden

David Berkman is one of many seasoned pianists with an extensive discography who deserves wider recognition from the jazz public, though he has achieved it with his fellow musicians. Berkman has lived in New York since 1985 and has long played Smoke (as well as earlier incarnation Augie's). Since he appreciates its audiences, attentive owners and first-rate, well tuned-piano, it makes sense that he would choose the club to record a live CD. Berkman's working quartet includes ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Berkman Quartet: Start Here... Finish There

Read "Start Here... Finish There" reviewed by Russ Musto

On his fourth outing as a leader, David Berkman displays commanding compositional capabilities. While Berkman’s earlier ensemble efforts have earned him considerable credit for his writing, this pared down quartet date, with saxophonist Dick Oatts, bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Nasheet Waits, should bring him comparable commendation as an exceptional pianist and improvisor with a personal style marked by intelligence and restraint. These qualities, together with an assiduous avoidance of hackneyed structural strategies, have driven him to create music that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Berkman Quartet: Start Here - Finish There

Read "Start Here - Finish There" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pianist/composer David Berkman goes four deep into the Palmetto catalog with his new quartet release Start Here - Finish There. This new recording follows Leaving Home and Communication Theory, the latter of which was well received by All About Jazz critics Mark Corroto and David Adler . On this present recording, Berkman devotes the lion's share of his attention to his own compositions. That is with the exception of the disc closer, a folksy solo rumination on Woody Guthrie's “Mean ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The David Berkman Quartet: Start Here, Finish There

Read "Start Here, Finish There" reviewed by Rob Cline

A first listening to or first glance at Start Here, Finish There might lead you to one of two false conclusions: that pianist David Berkman is interested only in exploring rigid rhythmic forms or that he is an overtly political musician. But focused listening soon casts those conceptions aside as it becomes clear that Berkman and the members of his quartet—saxophonist Dick Oatts, bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Nasheet Waits—are far too subtle and expansive to be so easily labeled. ...


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