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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.

Instrument(s):

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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