May 23, 2024

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CD review: Jerry Bergonzi – Extra Extra – 2023: Video, CD cover

Boston doesn’t get enough credit as a jazz town, from the days of the Storyville club and Cambridge-based Transition label to the star factory that is Berklee College of Music, the city stands tall against more celebrated places like Chicago and Detroit.

Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi’s earliest records as leader were influenced by his time with Dave Brubeck. Later, he went through a Coltrane phase. For years, though, he has sounded like no one but himself.

He blows very freely, often with subliminal hints of a Latin rhythm, as on “Body And Soul,” now so hoary a tenor warhorse one usually reaches for the skip button. Amazingly, he finds new angles not just through the chords, but on the melody as well.

One big part of that high level of creative output is Jerry Bergonzi who, for this date, leads his most Bostonian band in recent memory, reuniting with trumpeter pal Phil Grenadier and drummer Luther Gray.

“To work with Jerry and study and perform his music is the definition of a dream come true,” says Bailey who has played with artists ranging from Ken Peplowski to Shingo Okudaira. Here, Bergonzi has convened a fine band for a compelling album, another feather in Boston’s tricorn hat.

1 Loudzee
2 Extra Extra
3 Double Billed
4 Czech Mate
5 The Truth
6 Obama
7 Separated
8 They Knew

Jerry Bergonzi: tenor saxophone
Sheryl Bailey: guitar
Phil Grenadier: trumpet (tracks 1, 4 & 8)
Harvie S: bass
Luther Gray: drums

Jerry Bergonzi - Extra Extra - Amazon.com Music

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