CD Review: Jeff Berlin's "Lumpy Jazz"
Goldmine Magazine 2004
Jeff Berlin is widely known as one of the world's most complete and well-rounded bass players, easily transitioning through many genres including traditional, contemporary, and fusion jazz, to progressive and rock formats. With the release of "Lumpy Jazz" on his own M. A. J. Records, he successfully combines many of these styles and influences, and shines not only as a master of his instrument, but also as a creative composer.
Joined by Richard Drexler on piano and keyboards and Dannyy Gottlieb on drums and percussion, Berlin executes precise, intrepid solos that, although up front in the mix, blend intently within the compositions without taking away from the other players and music as a whole.
Berlin has worked with many influential musicians and bands over the years, including Bill Bruford, Alan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, Yes and Rush just to name a few, and brings these experiences and influences into his own compositions while still successfully creating his own musical vision.
Songs such as "Brooklyn Uncompromised" has a lyrical, Pat Metheny feel to it, while "A Mensch Among Unmentionables" creates a sound reminiscent of Bill Bruford's early fusion work. The Brahms composition "Intermezzo In A Major Opus 118 No. 2" also reveals Berlin's past classical training as well.
Throughout this CD, Berlin displays his own unmistakable bass sound, with intricate solos full of style and grace. No matter if you are a fan of classical music, traditional, contemporary or fusion jazz, or progressive rock, Lumpy Jazz is sure to please, and will leave you wanting more.
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