Bob Berg – A Cat Who Could Really Play

Thinking of Bob Berg today, once a few years back, I was a member of Sonny Constanzo’s Big Band at Quinnipiac Universtiy in Connecticut when Bob was the special guest artist.  I spoke with him a bit, I asked about his famous recordings with Cedar Walton, which I consider some of the greatest tenor playing of the post-Coltrane period – passion, technique, swing, unique tone, time and spirituality.   It was his mouthpiece I wondered about, such a vibrant tone.  He said that mouthpiece had gotten stolen, it was a hard rubber Meyer.   Bob Mintzer kinda remembers he had a HR Meyer at one point, but maybe a HR Link later.   I know Berg did play a hard rubber Meyer at one point.

Losing Bob in a bizarre car accident in Brooklyn is just as weird as losing Michael Brecker to a health disorder.   And the two of them came up together, and both were of the great post-Coltrane tenor school.   Berg had a great career, yet maybe he didn’t get all the recognition he deserved, and I wonder if he thought that also, because as the years passed his playing nodded more and more towards his peer Brecker, yet with Cedar and on, Bob has his own power housed, really main stream style of jazz playing.  Swinging and hard ass.  Super bad.   So I clipped a bit of one solo if there are still some doubters out there about Berg’s prowess.   Heres’ a clip of his first solo Live in Geneva in 1994 playing “Sometime Ago” by Sergio Mihanovich.

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