Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

287

Shelly Berg: The Nearness Of You

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Shelly Berg's career as a professional musician stretches back for 40 years. He began playing professionally in his early teens and has since been a solo performer, a bandleader, arranger and accompanist. In 2007 he became Dean of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music, University of Miami. Despite this long and varied career, The Nearness Of You is his first solo CD. Berg takes on production duties in addition to performing and arranging, to create a fine set of interpretations of familiar tunes. One of the few things Berg isn't directly responsible for is the writing of the sleeve notes, which are by All About Jazz contributor, Dr. Judith Schlesinger.

Berg has worked with a disparate array of musicians, including rock band Kiss, blues singer and guitarist Bonnie Raitt, and singer-songwriter Richard Marx. However, he has chosen not to experiment with jazz versions of rock or pop songs on this first solo release, preferring instead to draw on a more typical jazz repertoire. The nine tracks include Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma," as well as standards such as Rodgers and Hart's "Where or When," and Washington and Carmichael's "The Nearness of You." Berg also includes two medleys showcasing three tunes each from the musicals My Fair Lady and Guys and Dolls. Each medley lasts well over eight minutes, and it's to Berg's credit that his playing retains its freshness throughout, although "I've Never Been in Love Before," the middle piece in the Guys and Dolls medley, lacks, perhaps, the invention of the other tunes.

The sound is exceptionally good. The piano is a German Steinway, "more colorful than the American Steinway" according to Berg, and the venue for the recording was the Gusman Concert Hall of the Frost School. The quality of the instrument, the hall's acoustics and the talents of engineer Paul Griffith and piano technician Paul Bruno come together to ensure that Berg's playing is presented to the best possible effect. Every note is crystal clear, whether Berg is playing slow ballads such as "The Nearness of You" or faster, up-tempo, show tunes. There are no surprises on this CD, but familiarity is often a comfortable feeling and Berg's piano style is both accessible and warm.


Track Listing: My Fair Lady medley (Show me, I

Personnel: Shelly Berg: piano.

Title: The Nearness Of You | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Arbors Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Nearness Of You

The Nearness Of You

Arbors Records
2009

buy
First Takes

First Takes

Azica Records
2006

buy
Blackbird

Blackbird

Concord Music Group
2005

buy
 

The Will: A Tribute...

Discovery Records
1997

buy
Date Detail Price
Jan9Wed
7:45 pm
Paquito D'rivera & Shelly Berg Trio
Amaturo Theater, Broward Center For Performing Arts
Fort Lauderdale, FL
$55
Jan9Wed
7:45 pm
Gold Coast Jazz: Paquito D'Rivera &...
Amaturo Theater At Broward Center
Ft Lauderdale, FL
$55

Related Articles

Read Pillars CD/LP/Track Review
Pillars
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk CD/LP/Track Review
Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Pardes CD/LP/Track Review
Pardes
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Strings 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Strings 1
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Music for a Free World CD/LP/Track Review
Music for a Free World
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 10, 2018
Read Rats Live on No Evil Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rats Live on No Evil Star
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 9, 2018
Read "Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Monk's Dreams: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious...
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 10, 2018
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Jim Olin
Published: August 31, 2018
Read "Chorando Sete Cores" CD/LP/Track Review Chorando Sete Cores
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "Liver" CD/LP/Track Review Liver
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 16, 2018
Read "Hugo Fattoruso Y Barrio Opa" CD/LP/Track Review Hugo Fattoruso Y Barrio Opa
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: July 28, 2018