Bert Seager | A Closer Look - KJB

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Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo Jazz: Bebop Moods: Type: Lyrical
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A Closer Look - KJB

by Bert Seager

Jazz piano trio. The sound is natural, clean and spacious. Our music, though based in the traditions of jazz piano trio, has a breathing, conversant quality where interaction rather than role playing is emphasized.
Genre: Jazz: Traditional Jazz Combo
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1. Don't Go
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6:29 $0.99
2. I Remember You
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8:25 $0.99
3. My Romance
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6:49 $0.99
4. Summer Night
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7:49 $0.99
5. O Grande Amor
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4:10 $0.99
6. Three Candles
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7:14 $0.99
7. All Or Nothing At All
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6:12 $0.99
8. Bolivia
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9:40 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A Closer Look
Kazumi Ikenaga - drums
John Lockwood - bass
Bert Seager - piano
IM-2036

The music on this new CD, KJB’s second, expresses a quiet warmth. In their use of rich harmony and singable melodic improvisation, one senses immediately that the sounds were made with great care and love. The quality of the listening is what draws one into the space of the music on this recording. This music, though based in the traditions of jazz piano trio, has a breathing conversant quality where interaction rather than role-playing is emphasized.
“On this, our second CD, we chose to take a closer look at some tunes
that we have loved and played for years. In recording these takes
on two consecutive February afternoons (all first takes, except for
the new tune "Don't Go"), by simply choosing a new tempo
or time signature, we gave ourselves the opportunity to hear
these songs in a fresh way. Listening deeply together
with my old friends, John, Kazumi and I could more easily
enjoy the trust and creativity that arose naturally,
and it became a little clearer why we play.”
The band is called KJB (short for Kazumi, John and Bert). This is our second CD. Our attention and listening were focused in the studio those two days. Much of what resulted was beautiful and I am happy to share this music with you.

Kazumi Ikenaga, my friend, the Japanese drummer has been doing very well back in Japan. He now teaches at the university in Tokyo with Japan’s pre-eminent jazz department. His drum sounds are always made with great care with special emphasis on the music’s buoyancy. Every year for the past nine years, Kazumi has invited me to play with him on tour for two weeks in Japan. I just returned on Friday from a two week tour there where we finished up by playing for an hour on NHK, the equivalent of Japanese National Public Radio where we played before a live studio audience.

John Lockwood, my good friend in Boston, sounds great on this new recording.
His tone and choice of notes has a singing quality that is particularly noticeable in his solos. His time feel and intonation and the conversant nature of his ideas
are all a constant source of inspiration to me. I play with him almost every week in Boston in the Atrium Lounge throughout the year and we have a comfortable and intimate rapport.

The CD cover that we designed is appealing and I hope you will think so too. Karin Rosenthal, who has had a lot of success photographing nudes, mysteriously reflected and partially submerged in water, supplied a striking black and white image for our cover


Reviews


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Michael G. Nastos

....showcases his more introspective side. .....deep listening and interaction.
The Spirit of the Piano
By Michael G. Nastos
A recent “trend” in jazz has been the spiritual awakening of the piano. Informed by whatever faith based elements one chooses, this spiritual aspect is a sound that is hard to deny. Quite noticeably, this feeling, well past “new age” and aside from be-bop, has been heard frequently in many modern jazz settings, played by several young, or young and experienced musicians. Whether because of a deep seeded need for spiritual growth, an extension of their past experiences, or a natural progression, the spirit of the piano is happening now. Fact is, our anxiety riddled nation could use a healing and soothing force in music, beyond pop simplicity.

Bert Seager, from the Northeast, should more readily be called a veteran, having recorded works in groups of varying size over three decades. His recent date “A Closer Look” with the KJB Trio, showcases his more introspective side. Bop phrases are passed up for deep listening and interaction. A strong sense of self and purpose, as well as confidence in concept, has always been his forte. Seager is not well known as he should be, as he teaches more than performs. This CD, and a forthcoming one “Beat Greens,” should shift his star on the rise into a higher gear…finally.

Kevin R. Convey

brimming with emotion, incident, space and warmth. It's a masterful achievement
With his weekly Millennium Bostonian Hotel gigs and confirmed local-guy status, pianist Bert Seager is easy to take for granted. Don't make that mistake. His ninth album, like Seager himself, is a gem. Collaborating with ultralyrical bassist John Lockwood and quietly powerful drummer Kazumi Ikenaga, Seager turns "A Closer Look" into a whispered conversation among friends, brimming with emotion, incident, space and warmth. It's a masterful achievement, and one that puts Seager and band mates in a class of their own. Download: "My Romance." Grade: A

Cadence Magazine, May 2007 Phillip McNally

A Joy To Hear
KJB is a piano trio in the now classic Bill Evans vein, where they are truly more a trio than a piano trio. Emphasis is on the group sound.

In his liner notes, pianist Bert Seager explains the challenge they set themselves. To keep thing fresh, they played largely a set of tunes they all knew well, but this time performed in odd tempi. And what we are hearing is all first takes (with the exception of “Don’t Go” the new composition which presumably they needed to learn.

Because of this challenge, KJB definitely has the energy of discovery driving it. Seager has a fine, clear articulation on the kyboard, and he loves stating the melody simply and then varying it as it grows. Bassist John Lockwood is a highlight here. He has a great melodic sense, and his solos frequently stand out, yet he is also adept at disappearing into the trio’s sound when it is not his turn to shine. Drummer Kazumi Ikenaga can swing, and he has got a light touch favoring the high end of his kit; plus he is good with brushes. Those gentle skills make his work suit this trio format perfectly.

KJB has produced a fine and tasteful recording from the jazz mainstream. It is not essential but it is a joy to hear.

Phillip McNally
Cadence Magazine
May 2007