In the January 2011 issue of JazzTimes magazine, critic Philip Booth chose Looking Forward - Ken Berman's third album, as "one of the best and most important releases of 2010." The SF Examiner.Com called him "fiercely imaginative," and The East Bay Express praised his new album as "daring," "original," and "straddling genres," and asserted a stunning comparison to Vijay Iyer and Aaron Parks. Le Monde hailed him as a "fluid and erudite composer whose "complex improvisations are imbued with delicate sensuality and brilliance."
Jazz critic Scott Yanow writes, "when listening to Ken Berman's trio it is easy to think of Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, for Berman's chord voicings and his close interplay with his sidemen recall the work of his two predecessors. The difference is that Berman wrote all selections, he never copies Evans or Jarrett, and at times he sounds more advanced than either of them." This is an album that must be listened to: the kinetic interplay, the moments of pure grace and beauty complemented by virtuosity and soul. "Looking Forward" was placed on the rotations at NPR stations WDCB in Chicago, WEMU in Michigan, WCLK in Atlanta, WSKG and WAER in New York, Pacifica station KMHD in Portland, KSKA and KUAC in Anchorage, KKUP in San Jose, KRML in Monterey, KPFA in Berkeley, and KCSM in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Looking Forward features eight inspirational original tracks performed with new dynamic trio featuring bass virtuoso Kai Eckhardt, the legendary Akira Tana on drums, and acclaimed composer Ken Berman on piano. Together, the three musicians reach incredible heights of improvisatory brilliance that bring to mind other classic and modern jazz trios, including those of Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, and John McLaughlin.
Ken Berman has appeared on the famed stages of Carnegie Hall in NY, Yoshi's in Oakland and San Francisco, The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Detroit's Fox Theater, and The Sunside in Paris. Born in NYC, with roots stretching from Boston to Detroit to San Francisco, Ken Berman has performed and recorded with Bob Moses, Yoron Israel, John Lockwood, Bob Gullotti, Jaleel Shaw, Kai Eckhardt, Akira Tana, and others. Originally classically trained, he studied at the University of Michigan and Berklee College of Music, and later with legendary jazz mentors Barry Harris and Charlie Banacos. Mr. Berman is currently on the music faculty at the University of California Berkeley. His new album is fresh and modern, while at the same time subtly paying homage to a myriad of jazz masters.