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Jazz Review: Jerry Bergonzi: By Any Other Name


By Gary G. Vercelli

There’s an old saying that a great jazz musician never plays a song the same way once. That could certainly be said of Jerry Bergonzi. He is an intellectual artist of uncompromising integrity and a bold, original composer.

On Jerry’s new Savant recording, By Any Other Name, he totally reworks and re-titles jazz standards such as PG 2013 (Giant Steps), Of A Feather (Bye Bye Blackbird), Sprung (Joy Spring), and 114 W. 28th St. (Star Eyes). On most of these “new” compositions, Bergonzi and his quartet use the chord changes of standards as launching pads for new compositional paths and fertile improvisation. The playing is intense and distinctive, fresh and spontaneous.

Jerry is joined by a progressive group of colleagues including Phil Grenadier. Phil’s complex trumpet solos match Bergonzi ‘s for intensity and prowess. Although challenging for the causal listener, By Any Other Name is a must for the serious jazz collector.

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