A fine, high-powered tenor saxophonist with a tone influenced by John Coltrane, a mastery of chord changes, and a strong musical imagination, Jerry Bergonzi has long had an underground following in the Boston area. He started on clarinet when he was eight, switching to alto at 12, and finally to tenor two years later. Bergonzi was inspired early on by Sonny Rollins, Coltrane, and Hank Mobley. He attended Lowell University and then after graduation played electric bass in local bands behind singers and strippers, saving up enough money to move to New York in 1972.
Jerry has played with these Groups:
Alex Riel Quartet, Brian Dickinson & Jerry Bergonzi Quartet, Bruce Gertz Quintet, Carl Winther Quartet, Con Brio (4), Dalia Faitelson’s Global Sound, Gonz (6), Hal Crook – Jerry Bergonzi Quintet, Jerry Bergonzi 4et, Jerry Bergonzi Quartet, Mick Goodrick Quartet, Nando Michelin Quintet, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, The George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band, The Michael Treni Big Band, The Nuttree Quartet
After struggling in the Big Apple for seven years and gaining some recognition as a member of Two Generations of Brubeck and of the Dave Brubeck Quartet (with whom he appeared on several Concord albums during 1979-1981), Bergonzi moved back to Boston in 1981, where he developed a strong career both as a tenorman and as an educator. He has since led several groups (including two called Con Brio and Gonz) and recorded for the Plug, Not Fat, Red, and Blue Note labels.
Bergonzi has educated through Europe and the U.S. at audio colleges and conservatories. He’s the writer of the group of educational guides with play-along CDs and films, titled Inside Improvisation, released by Progress Audio (eight lists: Melodic Components, Pentatonics, Punk Brand, Melodic Rhythms, Database of Intervallic Melodies, Creating A Punk Terminology, and Hexatonics), along with the guide/CD collection Sound Assistance. The Interior Improvisation line is German, now obtainable in French, and Chinese translations.
Bergonzi is just a three-time NEA grant recipient.
University of Lowell, B.A., audio knowledge. Founding father of Not-Fat files (six releases currently). Sessions on Blue Note, Reddish, Not-Fat, Concord Brand Bleu Columbia Z Canyon Musidisc, Memory, Ninetyone, Freelance. Individual education for 30 years.