Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jeff Berlin

Jeff Berlin - Crossroads - 1998 - Denon

To most listeners, Jeff Berlin is utterly unknown as a musician and composer; to progressive rock enthusiasts, however, Berlin is a god, ranked alongside Jaco Pastorious and Victor Wooten as one of the most exciting virtuoso bassists ever. Crossroads compiles his first two albums, Pump It! and Champion, into a single-disc "greatest hits" of sorts, although neither album had much impact beyond jazz-rock circles. Splashy keyboards and '80s slickness date the recordings considerably, but the new track order plays well, with Buddy Miles, Neil Peart, Ronnie Montrose, and Neal Schon being a few of the musicians contributing master chops. The set also features the first recordings of guitarist extraordinaire Scott Henderson and presents Berlin, surprisingly, in more of a supporting than a starring role, although "Manos De Piedra," "Dixie," and the incredibly melodic "Bach" show off some of his fantastic virtuosic soloing. © Jim Smith © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/crossroads-mw0000053839

Jeff Berlin has been one of my all time favorites for years. I first discovered his work in '85 with the release of Champion. The guest list on this album is an amazing one with the talents of Neal Schon and Steve Smith (Journey), T. Lavitz (The Dregs and solo), and Scott Henderson on most of the guitar tracks. Jeffs second offering was the '87 album entitled Pump It. This equally impressive release features the incredible Frank Gambale on all of the guitar tracks along with Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big and Racer X), Tris Imboden on drums and Buddy Miles singing an inspiring rendition of Crossroads. The album that you are contemplating purchasing is a compilation of those two solo projects that were originally released on the Passport Jazz label and are currently out of print. The only deleted track is the title song from the first album. Highlights on this CD will be Jeffs' bass solo on 20,000 Prayers and Frank Gambales guitar on Freight Train Shuffle. Enjoy! – from ***** “Arguably the most overlooked jazz/rock bassist around”. July 4, 1999 by & © Dibrock@AOL.COM © 1996-2013, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Crossroads-Jeff-Berlin/dp/B000007RYD

Bassist Jeff Berlin is a master musician, but has never got the credit he deserves despite recording numerous solo albums and appearing on countless more. “Crossroads” combines Jeff’s 1985 "Champion" album with his 1998 "Pump It!" album minus the “Champion (Of the World)" track from the “Champion” album. A couple of tunes are remixed with extra bass parts in "Marabi" and extra keyboards on "Crossroads". The often overpowering use of synthesizers on many ‘80’s albums was often annoying, sometimes drowning out other instruments. There is quite a bit of synth used on this album, especially the tracks from Jeff’s 1985 “Champion” album but the compositions are very good and backing musicians like Frank Gambale, Paul Gilbert, Scott Henderson, Neal Schon, Jeff Porcaro, Buddy Miles and T Lavitz certainly help to diminish any dislike you may have of the ‘80’s synth and keyboards sound. In fact, there are four keyboardists playing on the compilation album, including Jeff Berlin, and T Lavitz, Clare Fischer, and Ron Reinhardt. The musicianship is top notch, and even if some people think that the album sounds “dated”, that doesn’t mean it’s not up to scratch. I still listen to “Led Zeppelin 2” which sounds “dated”, as does “Sergeant Pepper” but they would be two of my “Desert Island Discs”! “Crossroads” is a great jazz/funk oriented album from a brilliant musician and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Jeff’s “In Harmony's Way” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 171 Mb]


1 Crossroads 5:44
2 Bach 4:44
3 Joe Frazier (Part II) 6:10
4 Motherlode 5:30
5 Subway Music 3:53
6 Marabi 5:35
7 All The Greats 6:40
8 Pump It! 5:53
9 Dixie 3:25
10 What I Know Now 5:12
11 Freight Train Shuffle 4:50
12 Three Nighter 5:15
13 20,000 Prayers 6:07
14 Manos De Piedra 4:41

All tracks composed by Jeff Berlin except Track 1 by Robert Johnson, & Track 6 by Cannonball Adderley


Jeff Berlin - Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Background Vocals
Frank Gambale, Paul Gilbert, Scott Henderson, Neal Schon - Guitar
T Lavitz, Clare Fischer, Ron Reinhardt - Keyboards
Neil Peart, Tris Imboden, Steve Smith - Drums
Brad Dutz - Percussion
Jeff Porcaro - Tom-Tom
Buddy Miles, Ron Malo, Keith England, Roger Love - Vocals
Ronnie Montrose - Background Vocals, Programming
Paul Kingery, Chris Hughes, Bryan Rutter, Jeffrey Weber - Background Vocals


A flexible and powerful electric bassist, Jeff Berlin was one of the major fusion bassist to emerge during the mid-'70s. His father sang opera and his mother played piano. Berlin had nine years of violin lessons starting from when he was five and was considered a child prodigy, appearing with
orchestras in New York City. However, when he was 14 he switched directions and began playing electric bass; Jack Bruce was an early hero. Berlin attended the Berklee College of Music for a time and then moved back to New York. For a short period he was in a trio with Allan Holdsworth and Tony Williams. In 1975 he recorded in Europe with Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz and then in New York he became quite busy with studio work, club dates, and record sessions. Berlin played with many top musicians including Pat Martino, Gil Evans, Toots Thielemans, Al DiMeola, George Benson, Earl Klugh, Larry Coryell, Bob James, Dave Liebman, Herbie Mann, Ray Barretto, the Brecker Brothers and others. Berlin was also a regular member of Bill Bruford's band (which included guitarist Holdsworth and keyboardist Dave Stewart) for a couple years starting in 1977; four recordings resulted. Berlin subsequently moved to Los Angeles, worked in clubs with Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale, became an educator (helping to found the Bass Institute of Technology), played rock (including with Frank Zappa), and turned down an opportunity to join Van Halen. During 1985-1986 Berlin recorded two fusion/rock dates for the soon-defunct Passport label. He moved to Florida in 1990 and toured with Yes, John McLaughlin, Billy Cobham, Kazumi Watanabe, and other musicians from a wide variety of creative genres. In addition, he began teaching at the Players School. His third set as a leader, 1997's Taking Notes for Denon, was Berlin's most jazz-oriented set to date. He continued releasing a number of albums into the 21st century, including Lumpy Jazz (2004) with his core trio featuring pianist Richard Drexler and drummer Danny Gottlieb; the highly regarded In Harmony's Way (2004) with guest appearances by saxophonist David Liebman, vibraphonist Gary Burton, and guitarist Mike Stern; Ace of Bass/Aneurythms (2006); and the piano trio-oriented High Standards (2010), again featuring Drexler and Gottlieb in addition to the session leader. © Scott Yanow © 2013 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jeff-berlin-mn0000237300/biography


A.O.O.F.C said...


P/W is aoofc

ratso said...

Many thanks for this one too. I tend to follow artists who have played with Dave(not the Eurythmics) Stewart. Best wishes Ratso

A.O.O.F.C said...

Howzitgoin' Ratso. No probs. I was never a big fan of the other Dave either, although he's a talented guy. TVM & TTU soon...Paul

Freg said...

This is great, Paul. I've been a fan of Jeff's ever since i heard him on Bill Bruford's first couple of solo albums. When i first played the title track, i thought i'd downloaded a Sammy Hagar album by mistake, though (not a complaint, btw).


A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Freg. No probs. I'm a great fan of Jeff Berlin also. It's great having real music lovers on board this blog. TVM & TTU later...Paul