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Bebop - Released April 12, 2019 | Savant

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Bebop - Released February 28, 2020 | Savant

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Bebop - Released June 26, 2007 | Savant

Jerry Bergonzi isn't the most recognized tenor saxophonist on the planet, as he has spent a long time in jazz education, though his discography as a leader is extensive. But since making his mark as a member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet in the mid-'70s and then going off on his own, he has continued to grow as a player and developed a sound all his own. For these 2006 studio sessions, he utilizes a different rhythm section than on his first Savant CD, with guitarist John Abercrombie taking the place of a pianist, Adam Nussbaum now on drums, and the return of bassist Dave Santoro from the previous date. The music includes a mix of old and new originals. Bergonzi revisits his quirky "Gecko Plex," expressing himself with a solo bordering on avant-garde in spots. The playful off-center Latin rhythm in "Czarology" proves immediately infectious, while he overdubs a second tenor in "With Reference," which invites obvious comparisons to the collaborations of Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh. Bergonzi also has a sense of jazz history. His loping treatment of Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" is fairly straight-ahead, while his playing takes on a bittersweet tone in Kenny Dorham's neglected ballad "La Mesha." This remarkable CD is well worth investigating. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Bebop - Released July 15, 2016 | Savant

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Bebop - Released June 16, 2009 | Savant

Jerry Bergonzi has long been regarded as a top-flight tenor saxophonist among his peers and this session finds him in top form, playing with a seasoned, familiar rhythm section, consisting of pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Dave Santoro, and drummer Andrea Michelutti. Seven of the ten tracks are originals by the leader, starting with the tense, somewhat dark cooker "Mr. MB," dedicated to the late tenorist Michael Brecker. Bergonzi switches to soprano for his exotic "Malaga.""Transphybian" is an unusual blues that doesn't follow the predicted path, while "Crossing the Naeff" is a haunting ballad duet with Barth. Bergonzi's settings of standards are all refreshing. "Come Fly with Me" bursts with energy from his angular, Sonny Rollins-flavored approach, while his inventive re-harmonization of "Out of Nowhere" contrasts with a more traditional arrangement of "Dancing in the Dark." Highly recommended! © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Bebop - Released April 22, 2014 | Savant

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Bebop - Released August 14, 2012 | Savant

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Bebop - Released June 17, 2008 | Savant

Jerry Bergonzi focuses primarily on his potent originals during this quartet session issued in 2008. Joined by pianist Renato Chicco, bassist Dave Santoro, and drummer Andrea Michelutti, the tenor saxophonist's loping "Hank" (a tribute to Hank Mobley that he previously recorded in an entirely different setting) settles into a comfortable groove, with the band working together rather than settling for tenor plus rhythm section. "Girl Idlig" is named for Bergonzi's daughter, a hip breezy tune that has the spirit of Bill Evans running through it, a piece likely to become an enduring part of the tenorist's live repertoire. "Soul Mission" is a lighthearted work, with Michelutti switching to brushes, while the hypnotic "Splurge" is a twisting post-bop vehicle that was inspired by Joe Henderson's "Inner Urge." The Caribbean-flavored rhythm of "Left of Memory" utilizes the changes of the standard "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," with Bergonzi wailing and Chicco adding an inventive solo. The one standard, George Gershwin's "Who Cares," is the CD's opening track, a pep-filled workout featuring Bergonzi's explosive tenor powered by his driving rhythm section. © Ken Dryden /TiVo
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Bebop - Released February 22, 2011 | Savant

"Bergonzi's tenor playing is full of strong tonal manipulations and colors, forceful articulation and drummerlike rhythms."
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Jazz - Released December 2, 2006 | Fabola Records

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Bebop - Released September 22, 2017 | Savant

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Bebop - Released May 5, 2015 | Savant

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2000 | Double-Time Records

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Bebop - Released May 21, 2013 | Savant

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Bebop - Released January 26, 2010 | Savant

Three for All is a trio recording featuring Dave Santoro on bass and Andrea Michelutti on drums, but Bergonzi doesn't allow the limitations of the configuration to keep him from fattening up the sound. Often he augments his tenor saxophone with his own overdubbed soprano sax and piano, creating rich, expansive harmonies, and those moments are among the record's most captivating. The opening track, "Crop Circles" -- Bergonzi wrote all of the material himself, and also produced and arranged the entire album -- is a classic bopper, and Bergonzi, his multi-tracked self and his crew drive the melody into appropriately hypnotic circular patterns. On "Between the Lines" the horns' complementary melodies are so closely entwined that the listener could be forgiven for thinking only one musician is playing both lines. Similarly, "Tectonic Plates" and "Bluebonics" can fool even the most observant listener into believing this recording was made by a tight-knit quintet with thousands of road miles. In the end, though, it always comes back to that tenor, as Bergonzi is simply one of the most dependably innovative players we've got. While he allows plenty of space for development to his two co-horts, both of whom support the leader more than adequately, and the fuller band sound gives the music more depth than the trio naturally can, it's ultimately Bergonzi's main instrument that commands the lion's share of the attention. His tone is robust, his probing expositions intelligent (particularly so on "End of the Mayan Calendar," imbued with the sense of mystery its title suggests), and his composition and arrangement skills are exemplary. On tracks such as the closing "Fidh" and "Obama," Michelutti and Santoro may provide the drive, but it's Bergonzi's articulate phrasing and constantly brilliant improvs that leave the listener breathless. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
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Jazz - Released September 11, 2007 | Summit Records

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Jazz - Released May 17, 2010 | Intuition

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Bebop - Released May 23, 2006 | Savant

Jerry Bergonzi has long been one of the top tenor saxophonists of his generation, though too many critics have typically overlooked his work in favor of major-label stylists on his instrument. Joined by a fine rhythm section, including pianist Renato Chicco, bassist Dave Santoro, and drummer Andrea Michelutti (all of whom are worthy of wider recognition as well), Bergonzi also takes advantage of his first date for Savant to feature his considerable skills as a composer. His robust approach to tenor is immediately apparent in his catchy "Acookarache," a powerful post-bop vehicle with a Latin undercurrent. "Bob Berg" is a driving midtempo tribute to its namesake, a fine tenor saxophonist who died in a tragic holiday traffic accident a few years prior to this session. Also enjoyable is "Stumbelina," a quirky, playful theme that the musicians interpret flawlessly. The leader's rapid-fire "Skull Shining" is a wild roller coaster anthem that seems like a natural piece to expand for a larger ensemble. The one standard of the date is a snappy treatment of "You're My Everything." This rewarding effort is well worth acquiring. ~ Ken Dryden
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Jazz - Released March 1, 2004 | Summit Records

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Contemporary Jazz - Released June 1, 2014 | Effendi Records