Acclaimed Boston-based Musicians, bassist Bruce Gertz and Jerry Bergonzi highlight their original compositions on A Different Take – Featuring World Renown, Jazz Saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi, Bassist, Bruce Gertz and Drummer, Austin McMahon –
“It’s worth moving to Boston just to play Bruce’s music”– Bill Mays, jazz pianist extraordinaire
“All of the numerous musicians that have worked with Bruce will tell you he’s a monster” — Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe
When asked of Michael Brecker, “What’s it feel like to be the best sax player in the world? He said I don’t know ask Jerry Bergonzi
On the Cover is a painting by Jerry Bergonzi. Who knew he was a painter?
Saxophonists and Bergonzi fans worldwide will want to check out his alto and soprano playing here as well as his well known tenor sound.
A Different Take is the eighth recording released on Gertz’s own Open Mind Jazz label to grace the jazz archives.
An active Boston-based player who has shared the stage with Gary Burton, Billy Eckstine, Gil Evans, Maynard Ferguson, Bill Frisell, Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, and Mike Stern, Kurt Rosenwikel, Larry Coryell, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, and recorded with such notable artists as John Abercrombie, Jerry Bergonzi, Joey Calderazzo, Mick Goodrick and Kenny Werner, Billy Hart, Gary Burton and many other well known artists.
Like Bergonzi, Gertz is also a respected academician who has taught at the Berklee College of Music since 1976 and whose students have included Esperanza Spalding, Victor Bailey, Skuli Sverrisen, Matt Pennman, Ruben Rogers, Janek Gwizdala, Jeff Andrews, Peter Herbert, Damian Erskine, Tony Gray and Matt Garrison.
Collaborating again with Jerry Bergonzi, the man Gertz calls his “musical soul brother,” and with whom he has maintained a fruitful association for nearly forty years.
Although Gertz is a fluent electric bassist, he opted for the acoustic double bass, the instrument on which he felt this music was best served. Possessing a warm tone and a lyrical sensibility, Gertz blends these virtues with an enviable technical command. His acutely supportive work is evident on each performance; superlative bass solos can be heard throughout the album while he maintains a powerful bass function as he believes that is job one for any bassist. “Soloing is the icing on the cake” says Gertz. “I always want to serve the music first and honor the song structures with firm yet flexible groove and harmonic foundation”.
Gertz is a well, established composer with over two hundred published works most of which are recorded. His regimen involves writing daily every morning and if inspiration strikes he’s ready. “Sometimes I only get a short idea but that can be a seed for a beautiful composition”.
Bruce takes much care in the sequencing of songs because he feels “an album should be like a symphony where the tunes are like movements” He achieves this by contrasting songs with different keys, tempos and time signatures as well as various grooves with a goal of the music having a smooth flow of moods and action maintaining the listener’s interest. Gertz said, “I remember how enjoyable it was to put on an LP and have it play the entire side over and over until falling in love with the river of tunes that would follow each other”. “You could even sing the key change before the next tune”.
While each player remains committed to authentic self-expression on their respective instrument. Gertz’s memorably melodic tunes are also fashioned to feature his band mate’s abilities as master improvisers. “Duke Ellington wrote for the players in his band and I try to do the same”.
Gertz also has a special gift for beautiful arco work as demonstrated now over several albums. He is noted for a violin type of sound in all the bass registers and contemporary, melodic improvisation and articulation with his bow.
Jerry Bergonzi is no stranger to the jazz world having been in Dave Brubecks Quartet and performed with Miles Davis , Miroslav Vitous, NWR Big Band and toured the world many times over leading his own groups. Gertz says, Jerry is a phenomenon in that he has such a huge vocabulary of rhythm and melody that is unmatched along with a total command of music. He can play any instrument he wants. His Inside Improvisation books on Advance Music are used globally and have become staples in many schools.
Open Mind Jazz, which, to date, has released the acclaimed albums: It Wasn’t Me; Reptilian Fantasies, Thank You Charlie, and Open Mind, The Heart of A Champion, Anybody Home, Eepin and Beepin and now A Different Take.
A Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts jazz performance grant, Gertz is also author of “22 Contemporary Melodic Studies for Bass”, “Walkin’ “, “Mastering the Bass“ (Mel Bay Publications) and Let’s Play Rhythm (Advance Music of Germany). Of Gertz’s instructional book/CD “Let’s Play Rhythm” the master bassist Rufus Reid states, “A must for all players who wish to get to the core and a deeper functional use of the jazz vocabulary,” while saxophonist Dave Liebman has said, “What I like about this book … is that a student can get right to the point and get immediate results.”
1. Shoid (feat. Austin McMahon & Conley DelRay)
2. Me and Mingus 2 (feat. Jerry Bergonzi)
3. Intensions (feat. Austin McMahon & Conley DelRay)
4. Conducive 3 (feat. Austin McMahon)
5. Blue Shadow (feat. Austin McMahon & Conley DelRay)
6. Me and Mingus 1 (feat. Austin McMahon & Conley DelRay)
7. M.J. (feat. Austin McMahon)
8. Conducive 1 (feat. Austin McMahon)
9. Me and Mingus 3 (feat. Austin McMahon)
10. Inuendo (feat. Austin McMahon)
11. Conducive 2 (feat. Austin McMahon)
Jerry Bergonzi, tenor sax
Conley DelRay, piano
Austin McMahon, drums