Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

David Berkman: Communication Theory

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Although the disc begins somewhat jarringly, with the angular “Blues for Bluto,” played in two keys at once, it turns out to be a fine album of contemporary mainstream jazz, featuring some of the most formidable musicians in New York. It is hard to go wrong with Ugonna Okegwo and Brian Blade on bass and drums, respectively. They provide more than enough support and groove for Berkman’s emotionally charged piano chording and tensile single lines.

The updated bop harmony underlying Berkman’s 12 originals provides decent solo fodder for saxophonists Sam Newsome (soprano), Steve Wilson (alto and soprano) and Chris Cheek (tenor and soprano). The blend and intonation of the ensemble passages is excellent; take for example the sonorous chords on “Interesting, Perhaps, But Hardly Fascinating Rhythm,” a catchy tune previously recorded by tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm-with Berkman on piano-on Frahm’s solid, 1999 Palmetto debut, Sorry, No Decaf.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.