Peter Bernstein: Work




Peter Bernstein (guitar)


Monk (Xanadu 500)

Buy Track


Peter Bernstein (guitar), Doug Weiss (bass), Bill Stewart (drums).

Composed by Thelonious Monk


Recorded: New York, 2008


Rating: 87/100 (learn more)

Peter Bernstein has been one of the most in-demand New York guitarists over the past two decades, although you wouldn't necessarily know it due to his under-the-radar, "musician's musician" reputation. Since Jim Hall discovered him studying at the New School in the early 1990s, Bernstein has played with Lou Donaldson, Jimmy Cobb, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Lee Konitz, and Tom Harrell, and has also flourished as a jazz educator, teaching at the New School, North Texas State University, Julliard, the Berklee College of Music, and the Jazz Conservatory in Amsterdam. And when it has come time for Bernstein to record as a leader, he has assembled only the finest players to accompany him: pianists Brad Mehldau or Larry Goldings, bassists Christian McBride or Larry Grenadier, and drummers Bill Stewart or Greg Hutchinson.

Bernstein's newest collection, an all-Monk, guitar trio date, is a bold mid-career choice. While many albums dedicated to the tunes of a single artist (especially Monk) can turn into an imitation-fest, Bernstein is too good for that his interpretations are toned-down, soul-infused, and feature cerebral yet reachable improvisations. He sounds best on some of Monk's less-covered tunes, such as "Work," perhaps because there's a bit more room for invention there. On this track he recalls Bill Frisell during his presentation of the melody, a testament to Bernstein's success being that Frisell is perhaps the foremost purveyor of Monk's vocabulary on the guitar. During the improvisation, though, Bernstein is all Bernstein, complete with super-clean octave/chordal work and quick bursts of satisfying linear movement.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

Tags: · · ·

Comments are closed.