Just Jazz Guitar Magazine

September 01, 2001 | BY Frank Forte, MD

"... Chris Bergson is among the best of the young jazz guitarists...his skills are already amazing...",says Jim Hall. Here are some CDs that will punctuate his remarks.
Chris is a hard swinging and thoughtful musician. The tone and lyrical swing he achieves with his guitar are engaging and refreshing. His skills as a player and composer are the talk of the New York scene,where he is frequently featured.

Chris is at home with the standards and a vibrant blues player. He has some of Wes and some of Bill Evans in his veins. He is an exceptional group player and provides a rich basis for other soloist's performances. Bebop and blues with an exceptionally coherent linear approach are what he offers in a seemingly effortless fashion.

What is most evident and impressive about Bergson's music on CD is the relaxed feeling that is achieved by a "working" group of musicians who enter the studio and have fun making music together. The two CDs give that impression.

"Wait For Spring" is a real nice outing under Chris' leadership. The opener, "Look For the Silver Lining" by Jerome Kern gives the message to sit back and enjoy."With a Song in My Heart" Restates the message. Sunny Jain does some fine drumming and Neal Miner keeps the bass duties well. "Wait For Spring" is the title tune, an original of Chris'. It is an exceptional offering. Chris plays solo after beautiful solo on the well chosen standards and his own originals. He steals "Birk's Works" for himself and drills us in the blues. With Chris, blues are a strong point."Goodbye" and "Sad Strains" are two of his originals that are full of emotion and simply memorable.

"The Real Neal" is the CD with Neal Miner as leader and Chris Bergson as side man. Joe Strasser does the drumming and Doug white plays tenor sax. Neal's bass is an intergal part of the jazz scene at Small's Jazz Club in New York City. This is another recording session of swinging musical friends who work together often. It shows. They are tight and really support one another. The group makes a single grand statement.
Miner's originals are as much a pleasure as Chris' and it is no wonder that they mesh so well musical. I enjoy the solo work on bass as much as the guitar in this CD.
Look for Chris Bergson and Neal miner and Sunny Jain playing on the NYC scene and try these CDs. Herein are some of the more promising young players on that scene.

Chris Bergson "WAIT FOR SPRING"

Neal Miner "The Real Neal"
Juniper Records [JUN106]

Review printed in Just Jazz Guitar magazine