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Album Review

Noted educator and saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi put together an all-star cast for Vertical Reality, sharing the frontline with guitarist Mike Stern. The title of the album may refer to the nature of Bergonzi's playing and arranging in general; his emphasis is on the vertical, harmonic nature of each tune rather than singable lines and enduring melodies. The presence of Stern (five tracks), as well as the strong supporting cast including Andy LaVerne (piano, four tracks), George Mraz (bass), and Billy Hart (drums), all truly make an impact on this recording. Bergonzi is far subtler and more effective in his approach here, creating accessible post-bop while leaving considerable improvisational space for each of the players. Vertical Reality is split between Bergonzi originals and standards principally arranged by LaVerne. Highlights include a hard-edged, Stern-dominated version of Bergonzi's "Jones" and swinging interpretations of "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Lover Man." This is a recommended Bergonzi release.


Born: 04 December 1947 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A fine keyboardist who has ranged in styles from Bill Evans to Chick Corea and fusion, Andy LaVerne has managed to avoid predictability throughout his career. He began studying as a classical piano student at Juilliard when he was eight. After discovering jazz, LaVerne had some important lessons from Bill Evans. He toured with Woody Herman's big band (1973-1975), played with John Abercrombie, and Miroslav Vitous, and was with Stan Getz's group during 1977-1980, often playing electric piano. In the...
Full bio
Vertical Reality, Andy LaVerne
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  • 10,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Bop
  • Released: 22 August 1995

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