110

Kaufman / Gertz / Bergonzi: The Line Between

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
I started by reading Charlie Banacos’ liner notes to The Line Between, which probably make perfect sense to musicians but are far too abstruse for my untrained mind. I can pass on the observation that Jerry Bergonzi’s compositions — he wrote everything except “Fourth Ray,” which is a group effort — are “based on a technique called ‘intervallics’,” which I must confess isn’t too clear to me but has something to do with the fact that, as Banacos writes, “in [the] purest sense, melodies and harmonies are derived from a limited set (or sets) of intervals.” Bergonzi, drummer Bob Kaufman and bassist Bruce Gertz, he affirms, have adapted those intervals “to fit chords, scales, modes and standard progressions [whatever they are].” Banacos goes on to describe what is happening on each individual tune, but after wrestling with his largely impenetrable narrative I reasoned that listening to the music might be more instructive. So that is what I did. It wasn’t long before I began to wonder what I’d done with those liner notes, as they’d suddenly become far more interesting and attractive. Banacos was right; this is music for musicians, or at least for those whose musical knowledge is more inclusive than ours — which admittedly covers most of the Jazz–loving populace. To my ears, Bergonzi, a forceful improviser who has earned our praise on other occasions, sounds a lot like Sonny Rollins, which is about as far as I’m prepared to go in depicting his technique or temperament. Kaufman and Gertz are solid professionals who provide unpretentious but no less durable support, and Gertz reveals exceptional chops when soloing, which he does often. The main problem I have is with the songs themselves, most of which are less than riveting (I’d much prefer to hear the melodies on which they are based, which include “There Is No Greater Love,” restructured here as “Without a Trace,” “The Days of Wine and Roses” (“Small Pleasures”) and Bird’s “Confirmation” (“Confrontation”). Kaufman, Gertz and Bergonzi know how to swing but intervallics apparently curbs such pleasures except when one or another of them is able to loosen the shackles, which does happen from time to time. The outcome in those instances is quite pleasurable, but there aren’t enough of them to warrant an unqualified endorsement. On the other hand, these are three accomplished musicians who believe in what they are doing and are uncompromising in their approach. Well–informed listeners may find the enterprise far more rewarding than we.

Contact:Whaling City Sound, 560 Pleasant Street, PMB #01, New Bedford, MA 02740–6236. Web site, www.whalingcitysound.com


Track Listing: Seventh Ray Overture; It

Personnel: Bob Kaufman, drums; Bruce Gertz, bass; Jerry Bergonzi, tenor saxophone.

| Record Label: Whaling City Sound | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Earth Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Earth Tones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Find Your Wings" CD/LP/Track Review Find Your Wings
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente (How to Disappear Completely)
by Troy Dostert
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Quartet 1991" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet 1991
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Kjølvatn" CD/LP/Track Review Kjølvatn
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Reverse Camouflage" CD/LP/Track Review Reverse Camouflage
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!