Bob Berg Biography

Robert Berg, 7 April 1951, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, d. 5 December 2002, Long Island, New York, USA. Studying for a short time at the New York School of Performing Arts, before leaving prematurely to take a year’s practical course at the Juilliard School of Music, as a young tenor saxophonist, Berg’s interests were very much in the free jazz scene and the later work of John Coltrane. He involved himself in this area of jazz from 1966 onwards. In 1969, he became tired of its uncertainties and, deciding to study bop’s solid harmonic schemes, joined Brother Jack McDuff’s band. The next 15 years were spent in traditional hard-bop environments, where Berg could practise and expand his harmonic knowledge. Between 1973 and 1976 he worked in Horace Silver’s band, and then followed this with seven years in Cedar Walton’s group, touring regularly and recording. However, Berg’s musical identity was really formed after Miles Davis invited him to join his fusion band in 1984. After a series of worldwide tours, he left with a reputation as one of the more interesting Michael Brecker -influenced saxophonists in the New York studio style. His solo career produced some undulating albums with Denon and Stretch, with 1990’s In The Shadows and 1997’s Another Standard being the most satisfying, but his career was cut short by a fatal car accident in December 2002.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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