Wednesday, January 9, 2008

David Berkman and Scott Wendholt

When: 1/8/08
Where: MacPhail Center for Music
Who: David Berkman (piano), Scott Wendholt (trumpet)

Following a short break after their master class/jazz clinic, Berkman and Wendholt returned to the stage of the Antonello Performance Hall for a program of richly layered, densely rhythmic, beautiful music. At times it felt more like classical music than jazz. Berkman rarely used the pedals and he seldom ventured above middle C; using only half the piano, a marvelous Steinway, he filled the hall with big, deep notes and chords. Wendholt's trumpet was the perfect partner—sometimes a bright fanfare, sometimes muted, sometimes a sighing breath.

After hearing the two musicians talk, it was interesting to sit back and watch the give-and-take, the jazzy interplay of one man asserting himself and the other backing off, then the other bringing his ideas to the foreground and being supported.

The tunes included Benny Golson's "Stablemates," the Berkman original "Not a Christmas Song," Herbie Hancock's "Toys" from Speak Like a Child, Wendholt's tribute to Woody Shaw, "Through the Shadows," and a few with names I didn't catch. I believe it was Hancock's "Toys" that Wendholt filled with scales...up, down, up, down, up, down, varying each one. Breathtaking.

Photo by John Whiting. Berkman at the piano, Wendholt standing. This photo is more about the space than the musicians, and what a great space it is. The floor-to-ceiling windows look out on the Ceresota Building sign.


  1. I'm really glad you liked the Master Class. I was wondering how it worked for members of the audience who weren't totally into playing. Also happy that you caught some of those great spontaneous comments that were so filled with insight. I unfortunately could not stay to the end. I had a rehearsal that started at 8pm and with a gig coming up...

    When I compose, I'm often thinking about elements of songs that I really like and try to use them. Sometimes I combine a couple of elements from different songs. It always ends up being it's own thing. I have a new song that our ensemble is playing on Friday that was inspired in part by a piece Kelly brought to our class.

  2. I wish I had known that Berkman was doing a performance. He is on of my favorite pianists and I would have loved to have been there.


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