Berks Jazz Fest 2012: Chuck Loeb & Friends

Wednesday night, we got the fun-filled BeBop Sessions II led by guitarist Chuck Loeb at the Jazz Base in a nice club setting, which allowed being close to the players and experience the music more intimately. The band consisted of drummer Lionel Cordew, pianist Matt King, bassist Brian Bromberg, violinist Karen Briggs, trumpet player Rick Braun and saxophonist Gerald Albright. They set out to give us a night of straight ahead jazz with lots of improvisations, off the beaten path of smooth jazz. First track played was Charlie Parker's "Now Is The Time" that served as a vehicle for lengthy solos by Gerald Albright and the amazing Karen Briggs who knows no limitations on the violin. Next was Dizzy Gillespie's "Night In Tunisia" that gave Rick Braun some solo space, followed by Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite", before they finished the first set with Thelonius Monk's "Round Midnight" that featured Gerald Albright.

After the intermission, the show continued with Charlie Parker's "Donna Lee" that had Karen Briggs and Chuck Loeb play fast in union and again allowed Karen Briggs to show her considerable jazz chops. They had the audience help along with finger snapping and whistling to "My Little Suede Shoes", before Brian Bromberg was featured on his 300 years old acoustic bass on Miles Davis' "All Blues". Things were slowed down with the vocal "Body And Soul" featuring Rick Braun singing. They wrapped up the show with the Sonny Rollins composition "Sonnymoon For Two", that gave each one some solo space and brought a great to concert to an end.