Chris Bergson: Wait For Spring

Here emerging guitarist Bergson leads his trio through a mix of standards and originals (the tracks are split between two different bassists, Neal Miner and Chris Berger; trumpeter Greg Glassman and drummer Joe Strasser sit in on selected numbers). Bergson’s forte is shaping smooth, melodic lines, something that makes him most effective at ballad and medium tempos. On “Look For the Silver Lining” he begins in a subdued manner, giving the impression that he’s on the verge of bumping the tempo up a few clicks. And while that never happens, he does manage to maintain interest by virtue of his hip, well-placed phrases. Likewise, his open, airy ballad “Goodbye” features some gorgeously spacious playing that sounds full despite its delicate sparseness, while the laid back “Birk’s Works” provides a vehicle for lots of articulate, bluesy ideas. On the more up-tempo “Blues For Sunny Jain,” he falls a bit short of generating the necessary fire and sounds a bit uncomfortable, although he does get in a fair share of nice moments.

All in all, fine playing from a guitarist worth keeping an eye on.