MP3 Chris Bergson & Neal Miner - Play Date
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12 MP3 Songs in this album (56:27) !
Related styles: Jazz: Mainstream Jazz, Blues: Blues Vocals, Featuring Guitar
People who are interested in Jim Hall Ray Brown Ray Charles should consider this download.
"Chris Bergson is among the best of the young jazz guitarists...â - Jim Hall
"Miner's uncontrived projection of this lexicon's spirit raises the music appreciably above the generic." - Bill Shoemaker, Downbeat
Play Date is the reunion recording of long time bandmates and friends guitarist/singer Chris Bergson and bassist Neal Miner. Bergson and Miner first shared the bandstand at New York City's Birdland in 1996 and after playing together for over fifteen years, including backing singers Annie Ross and Norah Jones, the two have gotten together to document their long standing rapport as a duo. Recorded at Miner's Manhattan apartment, the Play Date sessions marked the ten year anniversary of the recording of Bergson and Miner's albums Wait For Spring and The Real Neal (Juniper Records). Play Date celebrates the duo's varied backgrounds and influences. An incredibly sensitive accompanist and lyrical soloist, Neal Miner has been a member of Jane Monheit's band since 2007 and has also performed with jazz legends Jon Hendricks and James Moody. Chris Bergson's blues-drenched playing and singing reflect his work with Howlin' Wolf's guitarist Hubert Sumlin and legendary drummer of The Band, Levon Helm. For the past seven years, Bergson has been exploring blues and roots music with the Chris Bergson Band and their past two albums, Fall Changes and Imitate the Sun were named MOJO Magazine's #1 and #2 Blues albums of 2008 and 2011 respectively. "When Neal and I get together, we bring all of our influences to the table...and it's as if no time has gone by - there's that instant rapport." says Bergson and the delight they take in each others' company is evident from the first note.
Play Date contains one original apiece from Miner and Bergson, eight classic American standards, a song by Ray Charles and a gospel tune associated with The Staple Singers. From the opening notes of Miner's earthy blues "Open Road" to the hypnotic gospel, boogaloo of "Are You Sure", Play Date proves to be a soulful, lyrical and hard-grooving affair. The duo achieves a great variety of textures with the tracks alternating between Bergson's acoustic and electric guitars along with Bergson's vocals on Rodgers and Hart's "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" and Ray Charles' "Would Would I Do" and Miner's masterful melodic statements on "I Remember You" and "These Foolish Things". It was Miner's idea to record the album at his Manhattan apartment which made for "very smooth, relaxed sessions where we weren't aware of the clock," he explains and he captured the natural warmth and full-bodied sound of the duo with a minimal number of microphones expertly placed.
"Whenever we play, regardless of the situation, I always feel such a comfort and trust," says Miner and the discernible ease you can hear on Play Date stems from the fact that the duo had been performing much of the material together on gigs for years. "How Deep is the Ocean" is a tune the duo frequently open their live gigs with and Bergson recalls hearing Miner perform the melody to "These Foolish Things" the very first time he heard the bassist play in 1995 at Smalls. As Bergson remembers, "I was blown away by his beautiful, moving statement of the melody." The duo was inspired to include the song's seldom-performed verse after hearing Ella Fitzgerald's version from her classic album The Birthday Concert: Live in Rome. In the mid-nineties, Miner founded and curated Smalls' Jazz Composers Series and gave Bergson his first gig in New York as a leader. Bergson the composer is represented here by "Deserted Beach", a haunting piece he wrote after a trip to West Africa as a Jazz Ambassador of the USA for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Speaking of Miner's original blues, "Open Road", Bergson's comment serves as a good summary of the album as a whole and the sheer joy the duo experience playing together: "This tune sums up for me how I feel about playing with Neal - after playing together for so long in so many different situations, the trust factor is huge and I feel like we can go anywhere musically."
Chris Bergson - Selected Bio
Hailed by Living Blues as "A Serious Talent", New York guitarist, singer and songwriter Chris Bergson creates his own blend of blues, roots and soul. Bergson has performed and/or shared the stage with Hubert Sumlin, Levon Helm, John Hammond, Little Sammy Davis, Etta James, Bettye LaVette, Annie Ross, Norah Jones, Al Foster, and Matt Wilson, to name just a few. The Chris Bergson Band's latest CD Imitate the Sun was named MOJO Magazine's #2 Blues Album of 2011.
Born in New York City but raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, Chris Bergson returned to Manhattan in 1995. While backing jazz singers Annie Ross, Dena DeRose, Sasha Dobson and Norah Jones, he released Blues for Some Friends of Mine and Wait for Spring on Juniper Records in 1997 and 2000, respectively. In 2002 Bergson was appointed a Jazz Ambassador of the USA by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and he toured Africa with his trio. Evolving to further embrace the blues while also adding pop influences, he followed up with Blues (2003), Another Day (2005) and his triumphant artistic breakthrough, the widely acclaimed Fall Changes -- MOJOâs #1 Blues Album of 2008 -- that established him as an eloquent, evocative and lyrical songwriter with a sharp urban vision. Recorded at Levon Helmâs Woodstock studio, it led to Bergson being personally invited to perform at the famed drummerâs Midnight Rambles while opening the way for more stateside festivals and subsequent tours of Europe. Notable past performances include: Blues in Hell (Norway), Harvest Time Blues (Ireland), Groningen Rhythm and Blues Night (Holland), Moulin Blues (Holland), Leicester Blues Festival (UK), River to River Festival (NYC), Joeâs Pub (NYC), B.B. Kingâs (NYC), The Blue Note (NYC), Jazz Standard (NYC), John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), NY State Blues Festival and SXSW.
Chris currently serves on the faculty of New York City's 92Y where he teaches guitar and is the music mentor for the Recanati-Kaplan Scholarship Program.
"Funk, soul, blues, folk and delectable jazz come together seamlessly." - Jim Santella, All About Jazz
"Gorgeously, spacious playing...articulate, bluesy ideas..." - Jim Ferguson, Jazz Times
"Chris Bergson plays the kind of guitar you can build a house on...it's B.B. meets Steve Cropper meets John Scofield." - Ross Rice, ROLL Magazine
"Bergson makes his thin-line Gibson sound fat and funky in true Big Easy style, pays tribute to Curtis Mayfield with sweet double-stops, and picks angular blues-bop lines like a tightly wound New York hipster. Bergson has tone and vibe to spare." - Andy Ellis, Guitar Player
Neal Miner - Selected Bio
Neal Miner was introduced to the world of jazz by his first teacher â his father Bill Miner, a respected jazz record collector and discographer. Bill's love of jazz kindled a passion in his son from an early age. Bill shared the music of his vast record collection, took Neal to clubs and concerts, and ensured he received the best musical instruction.
Born and raised in Manhattan, Neal received his high school diploma from the Interlochen Arts Academy, and attended the Manhattan School of Music. Most notable of his private teachers were classical bassist, Orin OâBrien of the New York Philharmonic, and jazz bassist, John Webber.
Since the age of 19, Neal has been a solid fixture on the New York City jazz scene and is a favored bassist to a host of musicians, both rising jazz stars (Larry Goldings, Harry Allen, Russell Malone, Peter Bernstein, David Hazeltine, Dena Derose, Ann Hampton Callaway, Loston Harris), and jazz legends (James Moody, Frank Wess, David Allyn, Eddie Locke, Etta Jones, Bob Dorough, Warren Vaché). Neal has toured and recorded with Jon Hendricks since 1998, and has been backing Annie Ross steadily since 2005 at her weekly engagement at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. In 2007, Neal joined Jane Monheitâs band with which he has been performing at major festivals, jazz clubs and concert halls around the world. Neal has written arrangements for and plays on Jane's last two albums, The Lovers, The Dreamers, and Me, and Home.
Neal has four CD releases as a leader that showcase his compositions and arrangements. In 2000, his debut CD, The Real Neal, was released on the Juniper Records label. In 2006, The Evening Sound, was released on the Smalls Records label. In 2010, Neal released his CD, Happy Hour, on the Gut String Records label. In 2011 Neal's lastest release, Sweet Tooth, is on the Gut String Records label.
In addition to performing, Neal teaches private jazz bass lessons through the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts and the City College of New York.
"The leader's ingenious arrangements offer something fresh at every turn while leaving the essence of each song intact â¦Happy Hour is a rich listening experience that pays off handsomely, time and time again â¦Top 10 Best Releases of 2009." â David A. Orthmann, All About Jazz
âThe writing is classic, the playing confident and the atmosphere genial and cozy as Minerâs sextet glides along with concise, effective solos and memorably swinging ensemble passages. âForrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times
âNeal Miner is one of a host of best kept secrets among New York jazz club patrons.â âKen Dryden, All Music Guide
Four Stars **** âMiner is one of the new breed who has broadened the lyrical and harmonic concepts and technical skills of a Red Mitchell, Ray Brown, or George Mraz to the point that his playing is basically seamless.â âDave Nathan, All Music Guide
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