Jerry Bergonzi: Shifting Gears

It’s my contention that the pair of’s  labels, High Note, and Savant, have taken the mantel that Blue Note abandoned about 10 years ago. I just can’t imagine Savant putting out country music, thank you, so I don’t have to look too carefully at the catalogue of Savant to realize I can pick just about anything on this label and be satisfied. Case in point is this latest release by tenor saxist Jerry Bergonzi.  Here’s a guy who has never been one of the high  profile guys on the horn, but he always puts out blue plate specials of reliable, filling and delicious material. This one, with Phil Grenadier/tp, Bruce Barth/p, Dave Santoro/b and Andrea Michelutti/dr has the leader and team delivering post-bop sounds with a bit of sonic experimentation. No gimmicks, mind you , but for example Berbonzi goes through the whole range of the tenor from low to high on “High Tops,” while puts square note pegs into round holes on “Flying Red.” Swingers like “Doin’ The Hen” include some stellar piano work while the relaxing “They Knew” has the gents creating some lovely sonic draperies. Enough here to satisfy the head and heart.

Savant Records

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