All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...


Borah Bergman/Kidd Jordan/William Parker/Michael Wimberly: Vita Brevis

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Vita Brevis represents maverick pianist Borah Bergman's last session before his death at age 85 in 2013. In the liners label boss Joe Chonto speculates that Bergman suffered from undiagnosed Aspberger's syndrome. As such it's perhaps not a surprise that he found his niche in outsider music—the jazz avant-garde. However his musical ability was never in doubt, given his remarkable facility to simultaneously pursue separate lines at length with each hand. On this date he's surrounded by other elder statesmen of the scene capable of following the pianist wherever he roams.

NOLA saxophonist Kidd Jordan's uncompromising career stretches back to 1955, while bassist William Parker started out in the fertile NYC loft years, becoming central to much of the Downtown scene and the celebrated Vision Festival. In this company drummer Michael Wimberly may be least known but he has recorded extensively with free jazz veteran Charles Gayle, and has recently replaced Milford Graves on the faculty at Bennington College. Together they create a dense unfettered music. Bergman stands as first among equals and plays for much of the time, generally establishing the mood and setting the direction for the others follow. Parker and Wimberly combine to provide fluid propulsion which maintains momentum but doesn't constrain.

Although Jordan and Bergman don't perhaps achieve the same connection as the saxophonist enjoys with his regular accomplice pianist Joel Futterman, when they do mesh, as at the end of the title cut, which feels like a great spewing out of pent up emotion, or in the second half of "Chasin' Another Train (of Thought)," it is to powerful effect. Elsewhere at times the two seem set on parallel tracks. Bergman occasionally edges into melodic fragments of what might be standards in the midst of his atonal runs, which may come across as a welcome change of pace or a lack of focus depending on your outlook. But there won't be any more where this comes from so make the most of it. To that end the generous 73-minute playing time even includes the ten minute soundcheck, which also has its moments especially in a knotty middle section.

Track Listing: Improvisation; When Autumn Comes; Chasin' Another Train (of Thought); Vita Brevis, Occasio Praeceps; Soundcheck.

Personnel: Borah Bergman: piano; Kidd Jordan: tenor saxophone; William Parker: bass; Michael Wimberly: drums.

Title: Vita Brevis | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Somerealmusic


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
On and Off the Grid
CD/LP/Track Review
Multiple Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles


Not Two Records

Vita Brevis

Vita Brevis



Related Articles

Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read All Melody CD/LP/Track Review
All Melody
by Phil Barnes
Published: March 23, 2018
Read The Future is Female CD/LP/Track Review
The Future is Female
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Hunters & Scavengers CD/LP/Track Review
Hunters & Scavengers
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Hakos Trios" CD/LP/Track Review Hakos Trios
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 27, 2017
Read "The Imperfect Sea" CD/LP/Track Review The Imperfect Sea
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 4, 2017
Read "My Head Is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "After the Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After the Fall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Rain or Shine" CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017