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Jerry Bergonzi - Lost in the Shuffle


Jerry Bergonzi - Tenor Sax, Dan Wall - B-3 Organ, Adam Nussbaum - Drums

1. The Tomb 7:40
2. Different Places Together 8:46
3. Sound Advice 7:33
4. Lost In The Shuffle 8:34
5. Invisible Light 5:24
6. Simultaneous Looks 6:29
7. Wind Print 6:14
8. Have You Met Miss Jones? 6:38
9. Different Places Together (Alt Tk) 7:29
10. Invisible Light (Alt Tk) 4:29
Total Time  (69:16)

Listen to CD Tracks

  A famous composition teacher in New York City noticed that one of his students was more concerned with telling people he was a composer than writing music. So he took his student aside and said "You know, in this world there are people called composers, and there are those who write music."

 A week later, the student showed up for his lesson wearing an ascot and cape and brandishing a cane in his hand!

 There won't be any chance of misunderstanding the music on this recording. There is no posturing by these guys. They won't try to make you think they're great musicians. They ARE great musicians.

 Jerry's background is well documented elsewhere, but to recapitulate briefly for those readers discovering his music for the first time:
 Jerry is from the Boston area and came up during a musically exciting period in the history of that city. You had, on the one hand, the old masters in town like Herb Pomeroy, Charlie Mariano, Joe Viola, Alan Dawson, etc., but also a group of younger players such as John Abercrombie, George Mraz, Jan Hammer, Harvie Swartz, etc. Jerry, being the musical sponge that he is, profited from this environment and added a great deal to it too.
 Because I've Known Jerry since the mid 1960's, people are always asking me about him. One of my favorite stories about Jerry, that I like to relate, speaks volumes as to Jerry's musicianship. It was around 1969, and Jerry showed up for the first night of a gig with the great Roy Haynes. The only steady member of Roy's group that could make it was trumpeter Marvin Hannibal Peterson, and when Jerry entered the club he was handed a stack of music of original tunes not based on standard changes. Roy came in, and after brief introductions, he called the first tune to be played. Jerry found the chart and proceeded to lay it down on the floor in front of him so he could sight-read it. Roy said, with a twinkle in his eye and a small smile at the corner of his mouth, "Oh, by the way, I don't like the way it looks for the horns to be reading..." Jerry, thinking that Roy didn't realize he had just received the music, said "Roy, I don't know any of these tunes." Roy answered "I know." At that, Jerry walked over to the piano, put the stack of music down and all I could hear him say was "On the first chorus, play the chords louder."

 That's the way it went all night. Hannibal would play the head with Jerry playing counter lines and playing any parts of the melodies he could memorize on the spot. He played that whole first night of the gig totally by ear on those difficult tunes that he had never seen or heard before. And he sounded great!

 The way Jerry played that night was amazing and it is a testimonial to his mastery. The only thing that might be more amazing is that Roy knew Jerry could do it without ever hearing him before!

 Those of you who have heard the first recording of this group, Just Within, Dtrcd-127, will not be surprised when you hear the intensity with which these guys create music. Dan Wall and Adam Nussbaum are two of the most important players in New York. Everybody wants to work with them. As soloists they leave nothing to be desired and they are the perfect foils for Jerry's explorations.

 All of the tunes except the standard "Have Your Met Miss Jones?" are composed by Jerry. "The Tomb" features an Arabic percussion groove by Adam. The melody is stated by Jerry and features a 3+3+2 rhythmic pattern. During Jerry's solo, Adam moves the pattern to 2+3+3 and 3+2+3 while maintaining the straight-eighths back-beat feel. Dan's solo starts sparsely, and with Adam's increasing layering of poly-rhythms, leads back to the head.

 "Different Places Together" has a Brazilian flavor and it's offered here in two takes which makes for some interesting comparisons. Dan's beautiful intro begins the first version and Jerry states the theme. Dan takes the first solo of block chords and blues-inflected lines. Notice the variety of Adam's brush patterns here. He switches to sticks when Jerry enters for an interesting solo that has some various shades of blue set in relief from the "double-time" sections. I like the "additive-time" sections where he floats across the rhythm section and I'm glad they kept the B-flat major 7th to E-flat 7th ending on both tracks.

 "Sound Advice" is a medium tempo swinger. After Jerry plays the head, Dan solos. Check out Adam's cymbal work. It's a lesson in variety while keeping things burning. Dan's solo features some nice "across-the-bar" phrasing and also great motific development mixed with blues. Jerry enters with his own three-note motives played across the time and then builds to a frenetic pitch.

 "Lost in the Shuffle" is aptly titled. You'll hear the super imposition of a straight eight and sixteenth groove over the "shuffle" pattern. I'm sure you'll have fun listening to this on many levels while checking out the great solos by all three participants.

 "Invisible Light" is a ballad that features some nice timbre changes by Jerry. He can almost sound like he's playing a brass instrument at times. Dan's comping here is a real treat and his solo features some nice voicing support under his lines. Adam, of course, is the perfect example of good taste.

 "Simultaneous Looks" displays Adam's "back-beats" using cymbals and it's one of my favorite things on this track. Dan keeps everything sane while Jerry and Adam are free to have a lively conversation. The organ-drum duet that follows, while more "polite", still burns with intensity. Jerry enters to cook a little more until the fade-out.

 "Windprint" is in "seven", and the phrasing is 4+2+1 a great deal of the time, which gives it a Balkan-Jamaican feel. It's played so slickly that many listeners probably won't notice it's in "seven".
 "Have You Met Miss Jones?" is one of those tunes that a lot of musicians shy away from because of the difficulties inherent in the chord changes. I guess they weren't difficult enough for Jerry because you'll notice that there's a key change at the ninth bar. Jerry says he changed the keys because he liked playing so much on the tune "Joy Spring" and this alteration makes the last five bars of the bridge like "Joy Spring", while the first five bars of the bridge are like "Giant Steps" changes. And speaking of Roy haynes, Adam here displays some of the "pointillistic" style that Roy pioneered. Jerry, attacking like Rollins, is on fire. Dan's solo that follows is also a burner and notice how he prepares the listener for the re-entry of Jerry's horn. The trading of "eights" for two choruses displays the cohesiveness of this unit.

 The second track of "Different Places Together" has Adam playing brushes  during Jerry's statement of the melody. This leads to Dan's solo which features some antiphonal effects between his comping and lines. Jerry's solo features great "double-time" lines.

 For the closing tune we are treated with an alternate take of "Invisible Light". We hear an exceptional organ intro by Dan which sets the mood perfectly for Jerry's ballad solo. Both of these alternate takes are more than worthy of inclusion on this recording and each version has it's own unique vibe.

 By the way, I should mention that Roy Haynes paid Jerry a great compliment during that aforementioned gig. He said "Call me when you move to New York."
 I think that says it all!

 Charlie Banacos - Oct. 1998Special thanks to Bill Kirchner