Bob Berg

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In the Shadows

Bob Berg was one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone players to emerge after the 1970s. He obviously took a lot from the Michael Brecker style, but Berg sounds more like a conventional jazz stylist and a great one at that. His lightning patterns comprising high warbling false notes descending to resonant blasts at the bottom of the instrument, and then swirling right up to the altissimo, are instantly recognisable. And he always cooked; when I saw him live he was amazing. This 1990 fusion album with his soul-mate Mike Stern on guitar is a classic, although I am fully aware that it might not be considered a hip choice; the tunes and solos are great, and I don’t mind the poppy sound at all.