Jeff Berlin | Jbmg Records

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Jazz: Progressive Jazz Rock: Progressive Rock Moods: Instrumental
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Jbmg Records

by Jeff Berlin

Bass legend Jeff Berlin's (Bruford, Allan Holdsworth) powerful new version his "hit" song "Joe Frazier" featuring Steve Vai (Guitar Solo, Keith Carlock (Drums) and David Sancious (Keys). Produced by John McCracken. Plus a newly remastered Round 2 (1987).
Genre: Jazz: Progressive Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Joe Frazier Round 3
7:54 album only
2. Joe Frazier Round 2 (Remastered)
6:12 album only


Album Notes
Back in the days when Bill Bruford’s band was sharing its English-American musical offerings, I contributed a tune to the group’s third studio recording, “Gradually Going Tornado”, and named it after my favorite heavyweight fighter, Joe Frazier. “Joe Frazier” epitomized the Fusion style and became one of three popular bass-centered themes of the 1970’s, sharing the spotlight with Stanley Clarke’s “School Days” and Jaco Pastorius’ “Teen Town.”

In 1987, influenced by Chick Corea’s “Beyond the Seventh Galaxy (a re-interpretation of “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy”), I decided to include a new version of “Joe Frazier” on my second solo record, “Pump It!”, calling it “Joe Frazer - Round 2.” This was my attempt to recapture the excitement that the first “Joe Frazier” created. The new version was funkier, but still included the angular bass theme, chord harmonies, and Fusion sensibility of the Bruford recording.

Fast forward to 2017. Inspired by my fans’ and the Bruford group fans’ continuous interest in this piece, I decided to share a 30th-anniversary version – “Joe Frazier - Round 3” – with the music audiences of today.

For this special edition, I wanted to write music that quoted specific elements from the earlier versions, but was distinct as a totally new work. I love how most classical music has new and recapitulated themes and sections. I wanted to create a work that imitated this style of composition but also included the angular melodic bass theme that is familiar to fans of the song. Most of all, I wanted the song to rock. For me, “Joe Frazier - Round 3” is a rocker. The bass tone on this version is heavy and punchy, and the tone for the bass solo is searing. Plus, Steve Vai nailed the essence of rock in his explosive solo.

As a last-minute decision, I decided to record an intro for the tune using an idea I’ve been thinking about for years. I found a way to record a series of harmonic notes that spell out moving chordal harmony. What makes this intro special is that it was recorded on a four-stringed bass guitar. In my opinion, this approach opens up a whole new way to play and record the bass.

Ultimately, this music is about Joe Frazier the man. He was called “Smokin’” because of his unrelenting juggernaut style of boxing, his bottomless stamina, and his “never quit” attitude. My hope is that you will hear those same smokin’ attributes in “Joe Frazier - Round 3.”



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