Jerry Bergonzi

On Again

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Jerry Bergonzi's style is often compared to John Coltrane, yet Joe Lovano may provide an even stronger frame of reference. Bergonzi sometimes teeters on a ledge between modern jazz and the avant garde, forming an individual style, yet not showcasing a musical voice marked by convincing emotion. On Again is a solid effort, including ten of Bergonzi's own compositions and featuring sidemen Mick Goodrick on guitar and a rhythm section of Bruce Gertz (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums). "Blue Bru" and "Gabriella" are each pretty pieces, as is the gentle swinger "The Bat." The pulsing "On Again Off Again" is interesting, and Bergonzi's solo builds some effective tension and release. Conversely, it is difficult to tell in which direction either "Exsqueese Me Please" or "Gecko Plex" is going, and upon subsequent spins, the hungry listener may overall be left wanting a more emotionally satisfying approach.

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