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Home Press Press Reviews General Saul Berson: Not Here, Not Now - Cadence Review

Saul Berson has assembled a quartet of unconventional instrumentation - that is, including alto sax, guitar, accordion and bass without drums.  The result is a CD of engaging music involving implicity percussiveness that consists of the effective use of dynamics and bassist Paul Blaney's puls to push the music.

Berson's mother is from india and he himself spend a number of years living in the Middle East, and so his interests extend beyond convensional Jazz boundarires to absorb influences from around the world.  For instance, Not Here, Not Now is a tidy little tango of loping bass lines, not at all investigating the dramatic extremes of Astor Piazzolla.  Instead, "Not Here, Not Now" is colored by accordonist Kim Darwin's lushness as Berson improvises over the entangled rhythms.  In contract, or perhaps along the same themes of cultural inclusion, Berson starts the next tuen, "Forbidden Sand," with a finely developed cadenza suggestive of the taragato befor ethe unconvensionally metered tune proceeds, Berson and guitarist Tony Wilson playing the rapid unison lines with fluidity.  Then, "H-J2" wavers between ballad and tone poem, its start and bending of notes reminiscent of "Crepuscule With Nellie" before it ventures into its own unfamiliar territory.  "Full Circle" features all of the members of teh group, Blaney's first assertion of the same notes actually creating a foundation for Berson's and Wilson's off-the-beat melody before the composition's several sections settle into a movement smoothed by Darwin's drawing out of the chords over an entire measure.  Performing mostly in the upper register, Berson balances the delicacy of his tone with the full-bodies and culturally infused sound of the accordion to bring forth in many of his influences.