Jerry Bergonzi takes no prisoners with the blistering Intersecting Lines!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Simply put, this is the good old fashioned blowing session gone nuclear. A harmonic meltdown of epic proportions finds Bergonzi and critically acclaimed alto saxophonist Dick Oats trading the equivalent of lyrical lighting bolts with some of the most inspired and inspiring playing to be capture in a studio setting. There is that rare happy place for improvisational music that is nestled comfortably between hard bop and bebop and Jerry Bergonzi has been able to hit ground zero.
The tenor field in traditional jazz is crowded to say the least. Why Jerry Bergonzi has not been able to create some distance from a vast assortment of artists playing essentially the same thing is a scathing indictment on main stream jazz media. What does a respected educator and critically acclaimed artist and composer have to do to catch a break? Moving on, the two decade long association with Dick Oats lays down a synergy that turns the Oats number "Dream Step" into a full contact improvisational fireball. The Bergonzi tone and attack while rooted in tradition are the calling cards of an artist that should be easily recognizable in just a few bars. The multi-metered extravaganza "Dig Oats" shows off the compositional prowess of Bergonzi as this theory master class should have some tenor players selling their horn. The dialed down "Horton's Lament" maintains an old school base line coupled with a slightly more modern ambient flair.
Bassist Dave Santoro and drummer Andrea Michelutti provide the perfect lyrical finesse to allow this release to hold together well. An absolutely stunning performance from Jerry Bergonzi should have critical heads snapping in his direction in short order. Nothing to grind on here. One of the very best for 2014.
Tracks: Intersecting Lines; Dream Step; Creature Feature; Tanzania; Marshland; Mo-ment; Dig Oatts; Someplace Out / A Granny Winner; Itchy; Saddle Back; Arbonious Unt; Horton's Lament.