Thursday, October 11, 2018

Johan Berke Upstairs Five - Meteorological Interlude: Johan Berke Upstairs Five plays Weather Report (2018)

This album is a major departure from my usual output of mostly original music with this group, documented on ten releases since 2004 on the GasonJAZZ label (, and in one case, on the Phono Suecia label (SCOPE - Music by Fredrik Nordström and Johan Berke - for tentet, 2009) . Here we are tackling the immortal music of Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter and Jaco Pastorius, in arrangements for sextet by myself (tracks 1, 3, 4, 7, 10&11)and Fredrik Nordström (tracks 2, 6 & 8). 

It does feel quite natural to play this music, since we all have a long relation to these compositions, and stylistically it doesn't deviate to far from what we normaly play with the group, since we have written the arrangments specifically for the group members in the line-up, who are used to play my, not allways so easy, compositions. Suffice to say, we all have had a grand time playing these classics by three giants in the field of small group jazz composition. 

I've also included two short compositions for solo acoustic guitar, as I usually do on all my recordings. These are the "Meteorological Interludes" that is refered to in the title. I dedicate these two pieces to Ralph Towner, who made a guest appearence on the intro of "The Moors" from Weather Reports album "I Sing The Body Electric" (1972)

The drawing, by artist Nina Grönroos, on the cover, is a tip of the hat to the cover of "Sweetnighter", a 1973 release by Weather Report. 

Trumpet - Niklas Barnö
Soprano and Baritone Saxophones, Clarinet and Bass Clarinet - Alberto Pinton
Tenor and Baritone Saxophones - Fredrik Nordström
Electric and Acoustic Guitars - Johan Berke
Double Bass - Robert Erlandsson
Drums - Fredrik Rundqvist

Recorded at BAS, Bandhagen by Johan Berke, June 1&2 2018

Mixed & Mastered by Johan Berke September 2018

1. Cannonball 09:33
2. Three Views Of A Secret 06:01
3. Birdland 08:48
4. Havona 08:12
5. Meteorological Interlude no 2 01:21
6. Harlequin 06:56
7. Elegant People 08:08
8. Badia 07:47
9. Meteorological Interlude no 1 01:22
10. Three Clowns 05:42
11. Palladium 10:36