Bill Berry – Shortcake – Pure Audiophile Records {vinyl}

by | May 21, 2005 | Special Features | 0 comments

Bill Berry – Shortcake (Bill Berry, cornet; Marshal Royal, alto sax
& clarinet; Lew Tabackin, tenor sax & flutes; Bill Watrous,
trombone; Mundell Lowe, guitar; Alan Broadbent & Dave Frishberg,
piano; Chuck Berghofer & Monty Budwig, bass; Franke Capp & Nick
Ceroli, drums) – Concord Records/Pure Audiophile Records PA-004 (2)

Another double-disc transfer from
Concord’s original analog 2-track master tapes to these analog LPs.
(The sleeve says “180-gram Colored Virgin Vinyl” but mine were black;
course that’s means colored with lampblack.) Bill Berry will be known
to most audiophiles as the leader of a similar small group on the
highly-sought-after M & K direct disc “For Duke.” There’s even
three tracks of Ellington tunes here, so it’s almost a For Duke volume
2. Berry played for a while with Ellington and has been leading various
big bands for some time now. There are actually two groups on this
recording: a quintet with Dave Frishberg on piano and Mundell Lowe’s
guitar pitted against Berry, and a septet with the guitar and with the
youngest member of this seasoned bunch of jazz veterans, Alan

The alternations of the two ensembles adds a lot of interest to
Shortcake – sort of like getting both strawberries and cherries on
yours. One of the wildest arrangements is Berry’s take on the
traditional Royal Garden Blues. There’s some dissonances never heard
from a trad jazz band; all seem to have great fun with this one. The
players are set securely in a wide soundstage in front of you and the
switches from quintet to septet are usually clearly apparent. Piano
reproduction is especially realistic, and there’s no guessing the
contrasting styles of Broadbent and Frishberg at the ivories. The last
three tracks are listed as bonus tracks but I’m not sure if that means
they were not on the earlier CD version. This is terrific music
presented with the utmost fidelity – all concerned deserve highest

Tracks: Avalon, Betty, Bloose, I Didn’t Know About You; Royal Garden
Blues, Moon Song, I’m Gettin’ Sentimental Over You, What Am I Here For,
It Don’t Mean a Thing, Stella By Starlight.

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