Josh Berman visits San Francisco! Continuing their decade long musical association, Chicago-based cornetist Josh Berman and Bay Area saxophonist Aram Shelton jointly lead a quintet featuring featuring local heroes Mark Clifford (vibes), Lisa Mezzacappa (bass), and Sam Ospovat (drums). Berman & Shelton met in 1999 in Chicago, in the basement of a house that was soon to be demolished, and with mutual admiration began performing together soon thereafter. Since then, they’ve played together throughout the US and have released three albums with the Chicago group Fast Citizens (Delmark), two with Jason Adasiewicz’ Rolldown (482 Music, Cuneiform), and one with Weasel Walter (Last Distractions). At the Center for New Music, Berman’s only Bay Area performance, they are joined by Mark Clifford on vibraphone, Lisa Mezzacappa on bass and Sam Ospovat on drums.
The opening set features Berman playing improvised duets with clarinetist Ben Goldberg.
“Mr. Berman, a cornetist in his late 30s, is kind of a scholar…, but not by the letter; he’s an intuitive one, making collages or loose sketches out of history, connecting sounds from different eras and letting them bleed together.”
— Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
“For the past five years, Chicago-based cornetist Josh Berman has dug deeply into his city’s early jazz traditions to craft an inventive take on the 1920s repertoire of the Austin High Gang, particularly Eddie Condon, Bud Freeman and Dave Tough. Berman never treats these songs as museum pieces, but as jumping-off points for a new and often uproarious take on the notion of collective improvisation.”
— Aaron Cohen, DownBeat