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A Conversation With Peter Bernstein

The master guitarist on Jim Hall, the art of comping, the organ-trio format and more

Peter Bernstein
Peter Bernstein

Cradling the body of a brown Zeidler archtop, his left foot rested on the rung of a bar stool, Peter Bernstein pauses during an extended intro to “Yesterdays.” In moments, a trail of changes resonates around the listening room. A familiar melody follows.

Developed over more than a dozen records as a leader and countless records as a sideman, Bernstein’s artistic evolution began as a young instrumentalist, eager to learn from his heroes, his peers and his most inspiring mentor, the late Jim Hall.

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