There are only a handful of musicians who can simultaneously navigate through the obstacle course of chord changes on John Coltrane’s Giant Steps with finesse while totally reworking the song’s melodic content, essentially making it a fresh, new composition. That is exactly what saxophone master Jerry Bergonzi has done with PG 2013 (Giant Steps) and several other standards on his new album, appropriately titled By Any Other Name.
Bergonzi, who recorded nine albums with Dave Brubeck from ’73 – ’81, is widely appreciated as both a fluid improviser with a muscular tone and a top educator. On this offering, Jerry and his forward-looking quartet use the chord changes of Bye Bye Blackbird, Joy Spring, and Star Eyes as lift off points for their own spontaneous compositions.
There is nothing simple about the music Bergonzi and his colleagues pursue. Phil Grenadier’s trumpet solos match Bergonzi’s tenor work for intensity and complexity and the quartet breathes as one.
Check out Jerry Bergonzi on Slacker Modern Jazz as he lays down stunning original work based on his knowledge of what’s come before!