Nearly Blue, Jerry Bergonzi

Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi is an internationally recognized jazz performer, composer, author, and educator.

Bergonzi has performed throughout the world at all the major jazz festivals and jazz venues, with his own ensembles as well as with numerous jazz greats. His music is renowned for its innovation, mastery, and integrity. His discography includes more than 60 recordings, notably Standard Gonz with the Jerry Bergonzi Quartet on the Blue Note label; he also has 60 recorded song titles registered with ASCAP.

As a clinician Bergonzi has taught at conservatories and music schools throughout the U.S. and Europe. He is the author of a series of instructional books with play-along CDs and videos, entitled Inside Improvisation, published by Advance Music (seven volumes: Melodic Structures, Pentatonics, Jazz Line, Melodic Rhythms, Thesaurus of Intervallic Melodies, Developing a Jazz Language, and Hexatonics), as well as the book/CD set Sound Advice. The Inside Improvisation series is now available in French, German, and Italian translations.

Bergonzi is a three-time NEA grant recipient.

B.A., music education, University of Lowell. Founder of Not Fat records (six releases to date). Recordings on Blue Note, Red, Not Fat, Concord, Atlantic, Label Bleu, Enja, Columbia, Deux Z, Denon, Canyon, Cadence, Musidisc, Ram, Ninety One, Freelance. Private instruction for 30 years.

Nearly Blue, Jerry Bergonzi

Jerry Bergonzi is a fount of harmonic ingenuity, melodic integrity, and rhythmic authority, and has long been a standard-bearer of sorts for the jazz community. A prolific composer prone to taking deep dives that put serious theory into profound practice, his discography is filled with smart and imaginative originals that twist and turn in unexpected fashion. But a passion for standard gems of yesteryear, the lingua franca of jazz, also fires his creative impulses and figures into his work. In fact, the tried-and-true classics serve as a source of limitless potential for his horn.

This follow-up to his Spotlight on Standards session once again features Bergonzi’s slightly off-center take on the tenor-organ-drums trio format while the songs on this set list function as both reminders about Bergonzi’s eminence in the jazz world and love letters from the man to the music. “I just adore the melodies of these tunes. I love standards. People always tell me, ‘Man, you’ve got to make more records like this,'” Bergonzi says, “and I’m happy to oblige. I’m just delighted that Savant is totally behind me and this music.”

Jerry Bergonzi, tenor saxophone
Renato Chicco, Hammond B-3 organ
Andrea Michelutti, drums

Episode #214

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