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Saw Jeff Berlin in Germany


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I just got back from visiting my sister in Freiberg,Germany. She's an opera singer and voice teacher there and used to be in the local theater. We visited the theater and I noticed some pamphlets lying around about groups coming to the local JazzHaus. Opened it up and found out that the Jeff Berlin Trio was playing there the next day. What a great place to see a group. Small,intimate,underground jazz club. Not a bad seat anywhere. The trio consisted of Jeff,Danny Gottlieb on drums,and Richard Drexler on piano and eletric upright. They played for about 2 1/2 hours with one break. Jeff was very funny in between songs. It was two acts for the price of one-stand up comic/worldclass bassist. He did make a lot of "rock bass player jokes" like..a rock bassplayer's wife comes home and finds him spanking the baby "What did he do?" she asks. "He turned one of the tuning keys on my bass" "Why are you spanking him?"He won't tell me which one!". All in all in was a really fun evening. They played two classical pieces,Bach and Brahms,some jazz standards,Clapton's Tears in Heaven,lots of originals,and some sponteneous jams. For the gearheads he was using his Dean signature model bass,a Trace 4x10 and an unidentifiable 4x10 next to it. Amps I couldn't identify but suspect that they were rentals of some European origen. Richard Drexler played a Zeta Crossover electric upright which was actually EQ'd rather poorly,too much string clack,not enough upright mwah,but man is he a talented guy! He smokes on piano and plays some nice upright as well. Ironically,before the show we had gone to a restaurant around the corner that was the "after the theater" hangout of my sister's and while we were watching the show at the JazzHaus my brother leans over and says "Hey,those guys came into the restaurant while we were there!" I missed my chance to bother Jeff Berlin during his pre-show meal!
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Cool for you!


I went to a Jeff Berlin clinic at the local Sam Ash 5 years ago. He made for an excellent clinic. Great philosophy on learning time without a metronome, and he demonstrated his idea with a non-player doing what he instructed. Very enlightening.


He ended the clinic by asking someone to yell out a song for him to play. Somewhere Over The Rainbow was the first suggestion, and he jumped on it. He was happy because it's a song whose chords follow the melody closely. Then he improvised the song, on the spot. Absolutely beautiful.


Glad you had the chance to see him with the trio in such a wonderful atmosphere. I used to live in Frankfurt.. I'd love to spend some time there... and see a great music group play at one of the local hangouts! ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman




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