Jeff Berlin has followed up his last release, High Standards, with another standards-focused album. Low Standards offers up lesser-known charts, with acoustic bassist/pianist Richard Drexler and drummer Mike Clark. This is a record which finds Berlin stretching out.
“I wanted to play on a four stringed electric bass as a guitarist or pianist might play in the same situation,” Berlin said. “The concept of this CD was to leave me completely exposed as a player. On this recording, there was no way to hide from my present abilities as a bassist. Great players are always exposed in their abilities to play. For this reason, I always had Gary Burton or Keith Jarrett somewhere in my mind while I was recording the CD, wondering if they might play like I did if they played my instrument.”
Drexler switches between acoustic bass and piano through the album, which features the music of Wayne Shorter, Steve Swallow, Bill Evans, Benny Golson and Pat Metheny.
Berlin shared the story and inspiration behind the new release. “Because I am such a huge fan of Keith Jarrett’s Standards CDs, I wanted to follow my last project, High Standards, with another standards recording, but this time playing on lesser-known tunes, lesser known to the general public… However, Jazz fans should know every tune that I chose to play. I chose compositions with lots of harmony so that I was forced to seek out non-typical bass lines. The harmony in these tunes demanded that I find something different to play on my bass. I also heard in my head how each composer played their own songs, often while we were recording. That was a strange experience.”
Low Standards Track List:
- El Gaucho
- Falling Grace
- Fee Fi fo Fum
- Very Early
- Whisper Not