New York native Bergson is no newcomer, 5 previous albums and providing backing for Annie Ross and Norah Jones testify to that. He has been a jazz ambassador for the USA and touring Africa in that capacity. Imitate The Sun is the follow up to his widely acclaimed Fall Changes from 2007, which was voted Mojo’s number 1 blues album of 2008. His latest album opens with Goin’ Home, which has a Southern blues feel with CCR and even a bit of Dr Hook in there. It’s laid back, slightly spiritual and very uplifting with staccato guitar rounding the whole thing off. The eponymous title track has a slow groove and soul oozes from its very pores and he still manages to have that Southern vibe. When he throws in a powerful guitar solo then you’ve got a top track on your hands. Bergson goes all acoustic on Shattered Avenue and this Bon Jovi style rocker works very well and the gritty slide guitar is a welcome addition. Hello Bertha has horns from Kenny Rampton and Chris Karlic and Buruce Katz’s inimitable keyboards in unison to make for a soulful sound and a New Orleans vibe.
The chunky blues of Willie Dixon’s Down In The Bottom leads into the laid back acoustic sounds of Laying It Down In White. Barrelhouse piano heralds the entrance of You’ve Been A Good Old Wagon and this is so easy to listen to. Good outing for the saxophone of Jay Collins too on this John Henry song. Mr Jackson has a funky vibe and this jazzy blues has horns and electric piano setting it up for Bergson’s soul fuelled vocal. Bergson serves up a swing version of the classic Elmore James song, Dust My Broom and although it loses a bit of impact on the guitar front it still gets top marks. Bruce Katz’s barrelhouse piano is another change from the norm. He closes with Bob Dylan’s Standing In The Doorway and Bergson’s world weary voice adds passion to the heartfelt lyric. This is totally relaxing and I feel as if I’ve known him for years. It builds vocally throughout and eight and a half minutes go by extremely easily.
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