Artist: Bob Berg
Title: Another Standard
Major Players: B Berg - sax
David Kikoski - piano
Ed Howard - bass
Gary Novak - drums
Bob left us all to early with much music left to give us. I was first introduced to him in those powerful, late '80's early '90's bands he co-led with guitarist Mike Stern. That group was fusion, loud, powerful, energetic and - did I mention LOUD. Now, I'm just a pianist but Berg's sound seems close to the great Michael Brecker, another powerful force that is no longer with us.
This CD released in 1997 is wonderful. An acoustic outing, this disc has mostly standards arranged by Bob and David. They come out swinging with YOU AND THE NIGHT AND THE MUSIC and it just gets hotter from there. There are some lovely moments on here. NIGHT is super fast, SUMMER WIND might be Novak's greatest moments as he swings real hard at a medium clip, especially on David's solo. My favorite tune on the whole disc is MICHELLE a Lennon/McCartney composition. The harmony is totally re-arranged, it has a sort of straight eighth feel but not a pure latin vibe, it has an interlude section - beautiful!
IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR is the project's "my favorite things" as Bob plays soprano on it, with the arrangement being kinda open. I'm not a big fan of the lone ballad ALL THE WAY, as Bob's frenetic tenor doesn't lend itself to how I like my jazz tenor slow grooves: sweet and lovely with a hint of romance. But this, I COULD WRITE A BOOK with Randy Brecker on Trumpet and JUST IN TIME are all tracks that show how hard this group could swing.
I'm sure I'm biased but, for me, David Kikoski steals this whole disc from Bob and that's saying alot because I love me some Bob Berg! But David is inventive, imaginative...almost every track on here is worth transcribing from the piano chair. He has signature moments throughout the program.
Download this today and make sure that guy from the Washington Post knows we are still here, still playing this music and still listening to it.
And look for more GOLDEN EGGS FROM THE BYRDNESS!