Recital Room, City Halls, 3rd February 2007
This was one of those concerts about which it’s difficult to say much beyond the fact that it was good. In fact, it was good enough for me to buy one of his CDs from the stall at the interval.
Berkman’s strength is that, as well as being a fine pianist, he writes decent material. Okay, he’s not in the Monk or Ellington class, and nothing has stuck in my head enough to be able to hum it now, but his writing’s definitely a bit more distinctive than most jazz musicians.
Jimmy Greene played some excellent saxophone: he was able to stretch out and play fast and hard when he wanted to, but also to do breathy ballads, like a lighter-toned Ben Webster, when that was what the music demanded. Ted Poor was anything but poor on drums. He was one of those rare drummers it was a pleasure to listen to. Ed Howard kept things together nicely on bass.