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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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JERRI BERGONZI

By Any Other Name (Tunes based on other tunes)

SAVANT RECORDS SCD 2131

 

 


1. PG 2013 (Giant Steps)

2. Of a Feather (Bye Bye Blackbird)

3. First Lady (Lady Bird)

4. Sprung (Joy Spring)

5. Deek (How Deep is the Ocean?)

6. Wilbur (I’ll Remember April)

7. A Granny Winner (Out of Nowhere)

8. 114 W. 28th Street (Star Eyes)

Jerry Bergonzi (tenor saxophone & piano)

Phil Grenadier (trumpet)

Will Slater (bass)

Karen Kocharyan (drums)

rec. at PBS Studios,Westwood,MA,USA on June 11,2012 [65:44]

 

 

Writers understandably regret the fact that mere words can never plumb the depths of emotion or express it as profoundly as music can but one has to give Shakespeare the credit that the ‘mere words’ in his phrase from Romeo & Juliet

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

come as close to expressing the thought as words can possibly do. Music has always taken a leaf from that ‘book’ and jazz has raised the concept to make it an art form with improvisation as the cornerstone of any jazz classic. What Jerry Bergonzi has done with this disc is nail his improvisatory flag to the mast by setting out to create an entire album using jazz standards as the jumping off point and creating new fresh material from them while maintaining the essential and recognisable core. The booklet notes give a more detailed explanation of the technical side of how some of the tunes came into being while I can only express how they appeal and they certainly do. The result is similar to taking a piece of designer wear, unpicking it, re-cutting it and turning it into a completely different but equally attractive item of clothing. There are even times when quartet becomes quintet when, through the use of overdubbing Jerry also plays piano as well as sax. However, the best way to enjoy these great tunes is not to try and detect the original but just “go with the flow” and you’ll be amply rewarded as the resulting tunes are great in their own right and are played with superb virtuosity and élan.

Steve Arloff



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