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The Passionate Folk Ritual of Quintessential Jazz.
Michael F. Hopkins | Buffalo, NY USA | 08/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Karl Berger is one of the best-kept secrets in Jazz, and
one of this Music's finest artists. Bringing his European
roots to bear within this African American-rooted world
forum, the German-born vibraphonist and pianist brings
an original approach to song which is as refreshing and
inviting as it is challenging and innovative. Initially
influenced by Ornette Coleman's harmolodics, Berger's
artistry has grown into his own Folk-rooted simplicity
which is intricately focused.
Always swinging, full of intrigue, Berger can romp and
stomp up a storm, or gently touch your soul with moments
of purest serenity. More than one of the great artists
of Jazz, Berger stands tall as a pioneer unafraid to
place the business world at the disposal of the Art, as
his 1970s conception of the Creative Music Studio has
proven. Given this, Karl Berger must be recognized as
a stalwart champion of creative expression everywhere.
CRYSTAL FIRE is a sterling showcase of Berger's prime
compositional wizardry. Forming a stunning trio with the
vibesmaster, bassist David Holland steps and strums and
weaves percussive harmonies full of mischief and promise,
while percussionist Edward Blackwell simmers and struts
his polyharmonic, multirhythmic stuff with head-tossing
insolence, and hip-swaying impunity.
Those who thrilled to this trio's 1st outing with the
classic TRANSIT (Black Saint) will be floored by their
empathic presentation here. Ignited by Berger's sharp
touch and ringing execution, CRYSTAL FIRE is essential
dance and ritual play, the convergence of three Jazz
immortals come to have fun spinning some of the most
serious Music around.
Forget about formats and genres. CRYSTAL FIRE is the
river and the hearth, both smoothly comforting and
Simply put, here is Song that sings!
Rich. Robust. Passionately Inviting.
This Music Sings.