Take Five with Albert Beger

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Albert Beger:

Albert Beger, the free-jazz pioneer and innovator, with his ninth album Peacemaker. Accompanied by his new electro-acoustic band, combining acoustic instruments and noise/glitches laptop works. Albert brings his music to a new level of creation and band dynamic. Following his critically acclaimed Big Mother, Peacemaker returns to a more personal, introspective observation of the inner self, and merges delicacy and aggression in one of the most unique jazz records of recent times.


Tenor and soprano saxophone, flute.

Teachers and/or influences?

Uri Toeplitz taught me the flute. Joe Viola taught me saxophone. Charlie Banacos taught me Improvisation.

Influenced by : John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Steve Lacy, Charles Lloyd, Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I think that in early age I was attracted to music. I don't know when exactly I decided to 'go for it.'

Your sound and approach to music:

Music to me is the big love for sound. What attracts me, in the musicians that I like, is their unique sound. Sounds of nature charmed me from an early age (birds, sounds of sea waves, animals' voices). To me, the world is a collection of different sounds and shapes. Om is the sound, for the Yoga believers, that the world evolved from.

Your teaching approach:

Teaching is a crucial and important part of my art. It is very important to me to share this wonderful gift I received from god. As a teacher, my role is to help my students find their inner tune and sound. A good teacher is someone that cancels his ego and checks with what works for the students. When I teach, I'm enthusiastic and full of curiosity like a kid. I think it's a personal example to my students, develop their curiosity and constant explore themselves.

Your dream band:

My dream band is full of friends and brothers gathered for a joint cause. I believe in long term relationships with other musicians and building communication. Only like that, I believe, we can create a deep art.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

I enjoyed my tour with one of my previous bands in South Africa. It was a unique experience and I hope to return there soon.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

I really love my debut album The Primitive. It has something really naive. It was recorded with simple methods and still has that initial magic.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I think that I contribute by burning my perspective of the world into the music. By reinventing my personal language in composition and improvisation, I am always in a constant search.

CDs you are listening to now:

These are the kind of questions I find very hard to answer, as it changes from one minute to another. I listen to a variety of musicians from different eras and also some contemporary stuff. I listened a lot to Nels Cline's music recently.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

I believe the state of jazz today is fantastic. Such an amazing pile of opportunities, that I think the boundaries between styles are blurred and they are hard to define. Still there is a lot to learn and explore.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Musicians should be as open to different styles as possible. Also, I recommend mutual respects between musicians.

What is in the near future?

Playing live the new music from the new album Peacemaker, hopefully all over the world. I start working on new materials for the next project. Hopefully in 2011 I'll record two new projects.

By Day:

I teach in three academic institutes: The Jerusalem Music Academy, Haifa University, and Muzik—The School of Contemporary Music.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

A teacher, philosopher, farmer who raises sheep.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Anova Music
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