All About Jazz

September 01, 2001 | BY Jim Santella

His crisp, sparkling guitar technique gives Chris Bergson a leg up on the competition. Working in New York City could easily become a cat and mouse game of stretching yourself to be like the next guy. Instead, Bergson retains his innate lyricism and respect for blues tradition in a sizzling, straight-ahead affair. As with his first CD, this one reveals cohesive trio partnerships in a relaxed setting. The young lion leads with impressive chops. Six original songs and a handful of familiar standards constitute a program of variety and adventurous improvisation. A searing "Birks' Works" best demonstrates the guitarist's feverish feel for rhythm. By rearranging "With a Song in My Heart" as a 5/4 waltz, Bergson brings new beauty to the forum. Two ballads and a program of moderate inflection make this session relaxed. Major influences, such as Wes Montgomery and Jim Hall, become apparent as Bergson improvises with ease. His warm and friendly manner makes Wait For Spring enjoyable for all.