Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)

Read "Joe Frazier Round 3 (CD Single)" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Low Standards

Read "Low Standards" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

INTERVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Still the Ace of Bass

Read "Jeff Berlin: Still the Ace of Bass" reviewed by John Patten

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

Read "Bassist Jeff Berlin Pays Tribute to Charlie Banacos" reviewed by Jeff Berlin

[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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Aneurythms

Read "Aneurythms" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Lumpy Jazz

Read "Lumpy Jazz" reviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Berlin: Lumpy Jazz

Read "Lumpy Jazz" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...


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