Exposé Online banner

Jeff Berlin — Joe Frazier - Round 3
(JBMG, 2018, 12")

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-10-11

Joe Frazier - Round 3 Cover art

“Joe Frazier” was one of the highlights of the somewhat overlooked third Bruford album, Gradually Going Tornado — which is a fine album, and would be a standout in any other band’s catalog. But after Feels Good to Me and One of a Kind, Tornado is merely amazing. In any case, bassist Jeff Berlin wrote this great tune, and now he’s recorded it with a new set of players, providing a couple of different takes on the composition. This single presents two versions of the piece, one a remixed take of a recording that originally appeared on Berlin’s 1986 solo album Pump It! and features Frank Gambale on guitar, Ron Reinhardt on keys, and Tris Imboden on drums. This “Round 2” version is much more guitar-oriented, with the keyboards taking a secondary role. The funk factor is cranked up, the quirkiness toned down, and while Gambale and Reinhardt do fine jobs with their solos, it is clearly Berlin who is the star here. His fluid licks and inventive soloing provide a reminder that he’s one of the great electric bassists out there. “Round 3” wanders much farther from the source material, bringing in variations and expansions of the themes. This version was recorded as a sort of 30th Anniversary tribute to the original, and features the composer on bass and keyboards, with additional keys from David Sancious, guitar from Steve Vai, Keith Carlock on drums, Tom Hemby on rhythm guitar, and percussion from Gabriela Sinagra. One thing that is clear is that decades have done nothing to diminish Berlin’s chops — in fact he sounds better than ever, easily in the league of any monster bassists you care to name. This is a supreme example of technique serving musicality, with each ridiculous run serving the mood and flow of the tune. His creative use of effects has expanded greatly, and he provides an outstanding example of the bass as lead. And Steve Vai gets in a pretty good solo too. The single is available in a variety of formats and packages, and should be a must-have for any lover of great bass playing.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): David Sancious, Jeff Berlin

More info
http://www.jeffberlinmusicgroup.com/jbmerch

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas and Merzbow - Keio Line – Having redefined the scale of sonic monumentalism with the 2006 two-disc set Metatron, Keio Line cleaves to the opposite – a two disc set of comparatively simple instrumentation reliant upon the...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues