David Berkman – Old Friends and New Friends

It’s a combination of members of a recently formed quartet and companions from years past. Pianist David Berkman brings them together for Old Friends and New Friends (Palmetto Records, 2015).

With Berkman are Dayna Stephens, soprano and tenor saxophones; Billy Drewes, alto and soprano saxophones; Adam Kolker, soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, clarinet and bass clarinet; Linda Oh, bass; and Brian Blade, drums. Stephens and Oh are the relative newcomers, while the others have performed or recorded with Berkman in the past.

With Kolker on soprano sax and Stephens on tenor, “Tribute” is a tranquil, ocean breeze. The horns harmonize during the melody, accented by Berkman’s piano and Blade’s cymbal splashes. Tom and snare rolls, mixed with cymbal splashes accompany the soprano solo. The accompaniment softens for Berkman’s elegant passage.

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