Jeff Berlin is the living proof that the electric bass can be a viable jazz instrument. His melodic phrasing and soloing is hornlike and his walking bass is as propulsive as any upright bassist’s. Many bassists think like bassists when they solo; Berlin thinks music and plays flowing legato lines and builds solos that excite and build through their own musical logic. He is able to speak the language of his influences: Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett as well as John Coltrane.
Jeff Berlin’s bass playing is somewhat similar to that of Jaco Pastorious though Berlin usually plays a fretted bass. Jeff is also well known as a particularly outspoken supporter of music education. He was a founding member of the Bass Institute of Technology in Los Angeles and later founded the Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida.
Jeff Berlin is still one of my major influences therefore this month I am transcribing “Forever until Sunday” as well as “One of a kind” which are two tracks that can be found one the album titled “one of a kind” by Bruford. Bruford were a band that former “Yes” and “King Crimson” drummer Bill Bruford formed and led in the late 1970s.
The transcriptions are my favorite excerpts of the bass groove.