Kris Berg and the Metroplexity Big Band
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with Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, Clay Jenkins, Denis DiBlasio, Andy Timmons
‘’…With Time Management, bassist Berg has once again gathered this stellar crew of Big D's best and sets them to cut loose on a series of wonderfully arranged and ultimately impeccably performed charts. The recording, a follow-up to the band's well-received first, This Time/Last Year (Summit Records, 2012) has all the makings of (and is) a winner—intriguing grooves with rhythmic and textural surprises, screaming brass, drum-tight ensemble playing and highly stylized solos that shine. And, with some very well-known names making the session, the intensity and performance level hits the heights.
Berg's terrific charts are more classic than revolutionary—he's more Sammy Nestico and Thad Jones than time-warper Don Ellis, even though the title track moves smoothly across time sigs. His pen spews neat melodic and rhythmic lines and the ensemble steps up to the plate and consistently homers. A generous leader, Berg offers every one of the many soloists the opportunity to deliver. L.A. studio great, trumpeter Wayne Bergeron along with drummer Stockton Helbing (both alums of Maynard Ferguson's band, as is guest Denis Di Blasio) take the group to a higher level of swing and tightness. And, Phil Woods's alto feature on the very noir ‘‘Lifelong Friends’‘ is a knockout.
To his credit, Berg's arrangements are never over-arranged or too complex, but, rest assured that there's plenty here that pushes the band's envelope. While Berg might be time management deficient, this recording reaffirms his well-earned status as an outstanding arranger/composer/bassist and his terrific ensemble's rep as a high-energy, swinging, and just-as-Phat-as-they-come unit.’’
’'...the Metroplexity unit swings heavy and tight…’’ - JazzTimes
‘’This CD is bold and as full of surprises as a hip piñata!...full of adventure and delight’’ - Phil Woods
‘’…Kris Berg's Time Management embraces the classic sound of yesterday but with a contemporary pop of energy that allows some of these original compositions to truly take flight and soar as standards for the next generation.
With cameos from such names as Phil Woods, Wayne Bergeron, and Denis Diblasio there is little doubt in term of the credibility or talent of Kris Berg. I don't review charts. The only audience that would care about charts would be that of professional musicians and I am confident they probably have the ability to figure out the charts without input from this critic. The arrangements from Berg pack a punch, swing hard or go home! ‘‘School of Thought’‘ is foot to the floor intensity with a Latin section added for flavor and the insane trumpet work of Wayne Bergeron. ‘‘Squiggly’‘ might best be though of as The Brecker Brothers on crack. I realize that might not be the most politically correct description but stay with me as the melodic line creates a quirky dissonance and the intensity of guitarist Andy Timmons only confirms that jazz guitarists or those attempting the medium can shred too! ‘‘Lifelong Friends’‘ is perhaps more along the classic Stan Kenton sound but it is the lack of over production which has killed many an artist that allows this tune to breath. The title track ‘‘Time Management’‘ shows off not only the compositional prowess of Berg but just how hot this band is as the manipulate meters into a minor blues and a conceptual look at the dynamic tension of everyday life.
Kris Berg is the real deal. A clinician for Yamaha, an arranger, and a solid instrumentalist find Berg as one of those rare improvisational triple threats that can let their wealth of experience and vision transfer to the recording studio with stellar results! One of the two finest large ensemble recordings I have heard this year!’’
--Brent Black, Criticaljazz.com
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School of Thought (Kris Berg)
Squiggly (Kris Berg)
Yesterdays (Jerome Kern / arr. Kris Berg)
Narnian Dance (Kris Berg)
Time Management (Kris Berg)
Kelsier (Stockton Helbing / arr. Kris Berg )
Lifelong Friends (Kris Berg)
One Block Off Easy Street (Kris Berg)
The Chicken (Alfred James )
Format Available Single CD
Artist(s) appearing on this recording can also be heard performing on
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