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Album Review

Exhilaration is challenging improvisation recorded live at New York's Knitting Factory in 1996 with pianist Borah Bergman, saxophonist Peter Brotzmann (heard here exclusively on alto), and drummer Andrew Cyrille. This is a nonstop bombastic combination of Brotzmann's furious alto, Bergman's ambidextrous pianist gymnastics, and Cyrille's empathetic drumming, providing the necessary role of mediator on the first four tracks. The Brotzmann/Bergman "Man to Mann" duos, recorded a year later, are invigorating, however it's unfortunate Cyrille couldn't have stuck around to provide these pieces with some guidance. This disc is not for the faint of heart.


Born: December 13, 1933 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

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

Early in his career, it was typical for jazz critics to compare the extraordinary free jazz pianist Borah Bergman to Cecil Taylor. However, critics subsequently pointed out the folly in such comparisons, perpetuating the very same juxtaposition, instead of listening to Bergman abstracted from such concerns. Though Bergman himself claimed Tristano, Monk, and Powell as influences, he rated comparison with nobody, so singular was his ability as an improvising pianist. Bergman had perhaps the most comprehensive...
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Exhilaration, Borah Bergman
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