Just Jazz Guitar

March 15, 2005 | BY Frank Forte, MD
May 2005

Jazz is played Monday nights at Charlie O's on 45th Street and 8th Avenue, an unassuming restaurant with pretty good food. In the back room, which is usually the home of the Joe Franklin Comedy Club, we were greeted with Chris Bergson and Sheryl Bailey. They opened with "How Deep Is The Ocean" and these two guitar players picked up the head and then wailed on the changes. How great they are together.† Chris and Sheryl know each other from Berkelee and unfortunately there are too few meetings in this duo setting. Their CD "Reunion of Souls" made a big impression on me, so I was excited to hear them in a live performance. They played a few Monk tunes. They played a bunch of originals. Chris Bergson's "From the Window" was especially intricate and charming and Chris also sang some vocals including "Little Girl Blue", a Rodgers and Hart tune. Their back and forth exchanges with melody line and rhythm guitar playing was absolutely breathtaking. They make it look too easy. There wasn't a minute that wasn't exciting, there wasn't a second that wasn't fun and there wasn't a chorus without some exciting idea. This is fresh air for guitar lovers.

Sheryl was playing a lovely small body, thin, hollow arch top, with two fixed pick-ups from [Rick] McCurdy here in New York City. What a fun night! Chris Bergson has a new CD with a blues band. His singing is impressive and his blues guitar and vocals playing are authentic and exciting. I wasn't disappointed, not at all!