Jerry Bergonzi - Tenor Sax
Renato Chicco - Piano
Dave Santoro - Bass
Andrea Michelutti - Drums
One of the beautiful things about Live Gonz is that the players all get the opportunity to stretch. One thing that we often forget is that the forefathers of jazz did not have the technology to express themselves like we do today. In the days of the 78 RPM records there were time limitations on the media. An artist of that time period would only have the space to play the melody, then one chorus solo, and then perhaps restate the melody. Eventually we evolved to the 33 1/3-RPM record, which had close to twenty minutes per side. Artists were now able to play longer solos. Performers now were able to play a studio date in more of a live performance situation, or in other words what they were doing on live dates would be better represented in studio dates. The best example of this is characterized by what Miles Davis was doing with his groups in the mid 1950's. Miles and his band would play an evening concert and after the gig would book studio time at 2:00 am so that he could capture the live date feel in the studio. Miles later went on to have many of his concerts recorded live.
With the studio recording, the jazz artist is able to make several takes of a tune and then later on pick the best version to be put on the new CD technology. With over an hour of time now being able to be placed on a disk, as we see with this CD, Jerry is really able to stretch. Take for example, Have You Met Miss Jones. On the studio version he plays five choruses, but on the Live Gonz date, he plays a whopping eleven choruses. Don't get me wrong, he is a master and sounds great in both situations.
The goal here is not to fill up the CD with tunes, but rather capturing Jerry as you would hear him in a live club setting where there is only one chance to get it right. When it happens like this, one can feel the synergy among the players and how it affects the audience. As the energy of the audience raises, so does the energy level of the performers. As you listen to the solos of Jerry, Renato, Dave, and Andrea, check out what happens to the intensity level of the soloist as the crowd gives a favorable response.
Jerry does a nice job of setting up different situations to interact with while he is soloing. He leaves the piano out for part of a tune and he allows each player to solo acappella on a track, demonstrated in On Again Off Again. The interaction on this disk between the rhythm section and the soloists, as well as between the quartet and the audience, is incredible.
Regardless of what setting Jerry puts himself in, his virtuosity always shines. For those of you that have studied his methods, Live Gonz is a wonderful way of demonstrating how the theories that are in his books can actually touch an audience.