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Transcriptions of Jeff Berlin’s Forever Until Sunday and One of a Kind by Andreas Farmakalidis

Meet Andreas Farmakalidis –

Jeff Berlin is the living proof that the electric bass can be a viable jazz instrument. His melodic phrasing and soloing is hornlike and his walking bass is as propulsive as any upright bassist’s. Many bassists think like bassists when they solo; Berlin thinks music and plays flowing legato lines and builds solos that excite and build through their own musical logic. He is able to speak the language of his influences: Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett as well as John Coltrane.

Jeff Berlin’s bass playing is somewhat similar to that of Jaco Pastorious though Berlin usually plays a fretted bass. Jeff is also well known as a particularly outspoken supporter of music education. He was a founding member of the Bass Institute of Technology in Los Angeles and later founded the Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida.

Jeff Berlin is still one of my major influences therefore this month I am transcribing “Forever until Sunday” as well as “One of a kind” which are two tracks that can be found one the album titled “one of a kind” by Bruford. Bruford were a band that former “Yes” and “King Crimson” drummer Bill Bruford formed and led in the late 1970s.

The transcriptions are my favorite excerpts of the bass groove.

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  2. Lucas

    Lucas "Pick" Pickford

    March 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Way back when I was at Berklee I transcribed nearly every Berlin bass line to nearly every tune from the 3 Bruford albums. I especially loved Bruford’s “One of A Kind”. The tune called “Feinting In Coils” was my masterpiece. But for pure crazy odd metered madness, I did “If You Can’t Stand The Heat” from the :”Feels Good to Me” album I think.

    Funny story; Like I said I was at Berklee but almost done (I graduated in 1991) and I had transcribed Jeff’s amazing solo on a Holdsworth tune called “Water On The Brain Part II”. I even had it on my answering machine in the background. So by chance my old man runs into Jeff at a gig and he says “Hey Jeff, my kid Lucas is at Berklee and he’s transcribed all your stuff!”

    A week later the phone rings at my apt in Boston and as always, the “Water On The Brain” solo comes on. At the end of the solo, when it beeps, I hear this voice say ” Damn that cat can really play!” It was Jeff of course. He was very cool and he said he’d been hearing from several different people that some young kid at Berklee had transcribed all his stuff . I wonder if Jeff would remember that? Anyway, maybe I’ll dig some of those transcriptions out of storage and post them here for all you young cats to learn!


  3. Andreas Farmakalidis

    Andreas Farmakalidis

    March 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Pick,

    I was actually introduced to Jeff Berlins music whilst at Berklee and i was completely blown away. The bruford albums are amazing!

    I would love to check out more JB transcriptions. If you post some i will definitely be one of the first to check them out.

    Great and funny story.
    Thank you for sharing.

    – Andreas

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