Azica Records, Inc.
Jiggs Whigham & Gene Bertoncini
Although he was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and is now based in Europe, Jiggs Whigham doesn't wear the usual mantle of the expatriate jazz musician. Rather, Jiggs is more of a world jazz musician; there is no unlikely place to find him. He teaches and conducts both in Germany (where he is head of the Jazz Department at the Berlin University College of Music and Chief Conductor of the Berlin Radio Orchestra, RIAS) and in the U.S. (formerly at Rochester's Eastman School of Music) and many other colleges and universities throughout the world. He tours on both sides of the Atlantic at an exhausting pace. Given such a schedule, the opportunity to come home for a few days and share a relaxed converstion (musical or otherwise) is a rare treat.
Gene Bertoncini is just as busy, of course. Whether as a performer, clinician, author, studio musician, teacher or sideman, he is constantly in demand. He has accompanied Tony Bennett and Lena Horne, and performed or recorded with a litany of jazz stars (Buddy Rich, Clark Terry, Wayne Shorter, Gerry Mulligan, and Ron Carter are enough to get the list started). He also performed regularly on the Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson shows, and has been one of the most prolific and popular studio musicians in New York City. His teaching duties have taken him to the New England Conservatory, New York University, the Eastman School of Music, and the Banff School of Fine Arts.
The CD jiggs & gene is our chance to join them one evening as their paths crossed in Cleveland. Although Jiggs and Gene have known each other for years and have played together while teaching at Eastman, this is the first time they've recorded together. Their hectic schedules allowed them to be in the same city for only one full day. The evening before, they met for dinner to catch up with each other and plan the details of the session, having completed the preliminaries via fax and phone. The next evening, they sat down and played.
jiggs & gene is a transcript of their musical conversation together, captured with Azica's unique sonic fingerprint. The result emerses the listener in the spontaneity and intimacy of this unique crossing of musical paths.
These and all other Azica jazz releases are featured in the Jazz Library.
© 2001 Azica Records, Inc.