Friday, July 10, 2009

Jerry Bergonzi - Simply Put (Savant, 2009)

Mining a fertile vein of modern mainstream jazz, tenor and soprano saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi displays echoes of the great bop based albums John Coltrane made for Atlantic around 1960. Joined on this album by Bruce Barth on piano, Dave Santoro on bass and Andrea Michelutti on drums, the group uses the classic jazz of the past as a jumping off point for their own unique music. "Mr. MB" opens the album with mid tempo swing, featuring a fluid and lucid tenor solo and a swift piano interlude. "Dancing in the Dark" is a milder tenor ballad, with the pace picking up slightly during the solo feature for saxophone. "Come Fly With Me" picks the pace back up with a bright, upbeat swinging feel. Bergonzi's tenor jumps and jukes and them makes way for a spirited and Tyner-ish piano solo. Tenor sax returns for a lengthy and yearning solo. The deeply rhythmic piano, bass and drums set the scene for a strong and supple saxophone solo on "Out of Nowhere" with a ripe and full sound. Another interesting upbeat tune is "Transphybian" which dynamically shifts between breakneck and mid-tempo paces to good effect. This was a really solid modern mainstream jazz recording with good ensemble playing and interesting and effective soloing. Tough no-nonsense small group jazz, the group is on the ball throughout.
Simply Put -

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