Joey Berkley Quartet: Made in NYC

Saxophonist Joey Berkley’s got it made. With a rhythm section of pianist Darrell Grant, drummer Carl Allen and bassist Joris Teepe he can’t go wrong on Made in NYC. They bring a tight rhythmic structure that knows how to ebb, flow and get frenetic. Berkley exhibits an easy comfort with his horn and his bandmates on a set of mostly original compositions. All the players stretch out on a Coltranesque “Kayla,” where Berkley does some of his best playing, and they’re sharp and to the point on “Chango,” where Allen’s propulsive presence brands the tune. Teepe, who also produced the CD, takes a melodic, rhythmic solo on “I’m Old Fashioned,” and, with Allen, keeps a this-side-of-Latin beat on “Blessed,” which opens with Berkley blowing softly and gently. Grant shows his versatility throughout. Whether trading riffs with Allen on “Dear Lili,” where he gives a forceful chordal opening, or easing into and laying the foundation for “Little People,” Grant always plays something you want to hear.