Rootstime

October 31, 2007 | BY Ronny Bervoets
(Translated from Dutch)

Chris Bergson, coming from Brooklyn, is a name you may remember as colleague and site-owner Freddy has already written praise concerning the predecessor "Another Day". These new sessions, recorded at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, exceed Chris' previous three pieces of work once again. With a real Muscle Shoals sound and a voice which recalls the heyday of The Band revive these "Fall Changes"; I dare say that this is the high level of a small master work. This is an artist who is always changing and now seems to have found his own sound. There was formerly talk of jazz and blues, but this is not really true anymore, both genres are still present, intertwined with Memphis Stax rhythms. The big influence on this CD, it seems to me, is the sound of the former Band. This may have a lot to do with the fact that the album was recorded at Levon Helm Studios, I do not know, but coincidence can be difficult. The production, however, is not this man, but of themselves - Bergson and blues guitarist Dave Rubin. The band consists of Bergson on vocals and guitar, bass player (and almost namesake) Chris Berger, tenor saxophonist Jay Collins, drummer Tony Leone, and last but not least, the great Bruce Katz, about the best Hammond B3 player in the world. "Gowanus Heights" the first song on this CD, still has its roots deep in Americana, while "Float Your Mind" shows strong Stax influences, and Bergson shows what a good guitarist he is. On the title track "Fall Changes", The Band influence is the highest, while at the same time blues and jazz elements are intertwined. The peaceful "Sanctuary" has slight gospel influences and Ray Charles style vocals, which is also translated into the cover of Ray Charlesí blues "I'll Drown in My Own Tears", equipped with B.B. King guitar licks and with that, the CD ends. Still covers, but Chris puts his own stamp on them as on Hendrix's "Are You Experienced", a showcase for saxophonist Jay Collins, and Dylan's "When I Paint My Masterpiece". "Rain Beatin 'Down" is the second real blues number here, a Delta song with gospel backing vocals, sober but very beautiful. Even "The Bungler" bursting with the influences of The Band, a New Orleans trip, where mostly Katz on piano can shine, along with Collins on saxophone. All in all, an impressive piece of this Chris Bergson, who belongs to the ìbig leaguesî, a candidate for yearís best.
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