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Lenox Avenue by Bernard Santacruz

Bernard Santacruz stlye is right off the bat on listening to the first track told me this was going to be very interesting and very good. His articulation and modality on the upright bass is stupendous! The harmonic and chord structure mixed with a highly forceful emotional state of playing leaves me to say "Wow,there are some great bass players out there!"

He has shades of the late great Jaco Pastorious, with his pointed harmonics and the way he hits the strings bringing out this beautiful display of colors. His melodies remind me also of maybe of a Eberhard Weber Cd,very flowing but again full of an emotional charge. The 3rd cut of the CD"Koniec" is most tasteful with a multitude array of wonderful different sounds. It is nice to hear an artist take the instrument to the utmost limits of no limitations. Santacruz's sound is amazingly clear and very definite. You have to get used to hearing a solo CD that is really just a solo instrument. The best thing to do to appreciate this is find a favorite instrument that you like to hear,then buy a solo Cd to be classified as Eclectic or Improv ,meaning possibly the artist will not really do tunes, but will try to show you different ways of interpretation of the instrument.

Santacruz surpasses this idea to give an emotional roller coster of wonderful melodies with a percussive sound that I have not heard in quite some time. Don't be afraid that some of this style tunes are somewhat without the average form of melody,bridge,solo etc. You will find out by stepping out of the box in your jazz listening pleasure that these make sense. I will tell you some artists go way out and will not make any sense at all ,but this is very few in this category. Bernard Santacruz displays wonderful respect for the instrument, but gives an added taste of telling us what a bass can do. This is a great morning Cd,because it is not cluttered with melodies or someone blowing a sax in your face. I listened to this at 5Am on a Sat and it made my day. Santacruz actually gives you a kinda food for thought process exploring as he does.

But Bernard does not just play the bass,he uses every thing he can to tell us about an upright bass and what its full ranges are. On track 5,he is showing us a very unusual type of bowing method. Bowing is not really used a lot except on a very slow song or ballad. Again Santacruz goes beyond the level to show us a technique of creating harmonics with a changing the way of pulling the bow across his strings. This was fascinating. So on the overall if the artist can teach you more than you know about how to play your favorite instrument,he has successful created a wonderful,ever surprising CD.

This is masterfully,tastefully done by Bernard Santacruz. Take the time to listen to new styles of Jazz,like Expressionism Jazz found in this exhilarating CD called Lenox Avenue by Bernard Santacruz. I give this a 4 out of 5 on my jazz -o meter rating. Well done,superb!

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bernard Santacruz
  • CD Title: Lenox Avenue
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Reissue Original Release: 2003
  • Record Label: RudeAwakening
  • Rating: Four Stars
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