Life in Db: A Jazz Journal
“David tells it like it is. A compelling read for every musician and music lover.”
The first thing that struck me was the rhythm—14 men swinging in perfect synchronization—each one playing the same beat and the same eighth notes. The next thing I noticed was the story. I knew about programmatic music from classical pieces like Peter And The Wolf and the 1812 Overture, but this was a ride on the “A” Train—the very same “A” Train I rode with my family.... This record sounded and felt like our subway— how it picks up speed non-stop between 59th Street and 125th Street. I always wondered what would happen if someone pulled the emergency brake that was in each car, and that was in there, too. And then the wonderful fadeout ending as the train disappears in the distant tunnel. I must have listened to that record a thousand times that fall.
David Berger, renowned jazz composer, arranger, band leader and educator, tells you what it’s like... from falling in love with jazz as a boy, to his first jobs as a musician and arranger... from international triumphs with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, to heartbreak and success with his own Big Band. The chapter on transcribing alone is worth the price.