This is a must have CD all the way; composing, arranging, band, recording, production, packaging and of course killer EWI playing. Ten great original contemporary jazz tunes that all sound different and flow from one to the other as a satisfying whole. Each track brings another fresh, exciting and enjoyable sonic experience. In Bernie's hands the Akai EWI 4000s displays a wealth of expression and artistry that is unique and refreshing. The different EWI sounds are warm and appealing with an analog glow. The wonderful live rhythm section backs. Bernie's EWI perfectly and helps bring every track to life. This is a great CD for listening, driving, working, relaxing, partying, loving, and sharing with friends.
Bernie Kenerson: Akai EWI 4000s, Tenor Sax, Flute & Bass Clarinet
Jim Schneider: Keyboard
Gary Craddock: Bass
Art Weiss: Drums & Percission
Vince Peeples: Guitar (track 1&7)
Nemil Chabebe: Percussion (Track 8)
CD Reviews: Bernie Kenerson, “Just You and Me (The Art of the EWI)”
Posted by: editoron Wednesday, October 03, 2007 - 08:40 PM
By: Edward Blanco
The first in a series of albums being recorded featuring the electric wind instrument (EWI), this CD features multi-instrumentalist Bernie Kenerson playing the Akai 4000s electric horn on ten original compositions. An unusual recording that captured my interest almost immediately. The sound is definitely different and one that jazz audiences may not be use to hearing but, should be, in my opinion, quite receptive to the music found hear. The music blends contemporary jazz with smooth and fusion jazz colors delivered with an electric twist.
Kenerson plays with a quartet consisting of Jim Schneider (keyboards), Gary Craddock (upright and electric bass), and Art Weiss (drums and percussions), and adds Vince Peeples who plays guitar on two tracks and Nemil Chabebe playing percussion on one track. Kenerson also plays the tenor, flute and clarinet.
The opening title number and the second track, “She Said,” clearly establishes the EWI’s dominant lead role on the album with a couple of very nice light jazz almost smooth in texture. “Stay in Shape,” moves to a more traditional jazz groove featuring more of Kenerson soloing on the EWI.
There’s a two-minute fusion type intro to “Glade You Said Yes,” which is all Kenerson stretching the horn making airy sounds before giving way to a slow and beautiful ballad in one of the best tunes here. My vote for the liveliest cut has to be the samba-shaded
“Grand Strand Samba,” that moves quickly with terrific percussions and one heck of a performance by the leader.
Other notable pieces include “Honeymoon Flight,” and “Summer Release.” Well that just about does it; this is one interesting musical experience that this listener enjoyed without any reservations. The EWI may not be taking over the Jazz world just yet, but Bernie Kenerson does a fine job bringing it out to the forefront. Well done.
all•about•jazz Oct 2007/Vol.5 No.9
By George Harris
There are very few reedmen who are willing to put it on the line to face the daunting challenge of trying to master the formidable EWI (pronounced eewee). Keyboard players and guitarists seemingly have no qualms about electronically tinkering with their instruments, but such experimentation seems rare among woodwind musicians. Bernie Kenerson puts his creativity to good use on his latest release, Just You & Me, a varied collection of synthesized sounds sure to sooth the soul. Funky songs like "Stayin' In Shape" have an arresting mixture of '40s swing and '70s Stevie Wonder. The driving drum work of Art Weiss, mixing with Kenerson's clavinet sounding horn gives a Weather Report groove to the attractive "She Said." If you are listening to this with earphones, your cochlea will get a definite workout on the full bodied intro to "Glad You Said Yes," sounding like an amalgamation of Bach organ and Moody Blues. Kenerson with his highly flexible rhythm section of Jim Schneider (keyboards), Weiss and Gary Craddock (bass) is able to make bebop sound absolutely other wordly on the crisp and snappy "B.W." Fun, funky and ferocious, Just You & Me is a find for groove fanatics.
ABYSSJazz Magazine Nov/Dec 2007
by Lyndah Malloy-Glover
My reaction to multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer & arranger, Bernie Kenerson’s latest release, Just You & Me, is pure exhilaration. And when Kenerson asked, in a recent conversation we had about his art and his music, which of the ten songs from the CD evoked those feelings, I said, they all did. The title track, the first song on the CD, got my attention. Impressed by what I’d heard, I stayed to experience the rest of the music. Honestly, Bernie, I added, if you wanted to know which track I liked best, I would have to say, I don’t have a favorite song. For me, it was the collective rather than a portion of the whole that spoke. Just You & Me is a feel good, high-energy montage of well written and arranged tunes featuring Bernie on EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) and a wonderful live rhythm section. “These songs were designed with the jazz listener in mind,” Kenerson explained. He went on to say, “my intent with this CD was to make sounds that would encourage my fans and new converts to get excited about life and hopeful about what the day might bring them.”....read more at www.abyssjazz.com