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This recording includes two suites composed by Steven Bergdall, which represent two different approaches to the same goal: the dissolution of boundaries between the genres of jazz and classical music.

Just before his death in 1959, iconic saxophonist Lester Young a.k.a. "Pres" was in Paris, preparing to record an album with strings, horn and rhythm section. This concept inspired the Presidential Suite (tracks 1-4), dedicated to Pres and his cohorts. This suite also features bassist Max Hartstein, who was in Paris around the same time, working with jazz giants Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke. We are fortunate to have this recording as the last document of Max's powerful swing, as he passed away a month after this session just before his 82nd birthday.

Each movement of the Lyric Suite (tracks 5-7) features a different approach to harmony, ranging from pantonality (free use of 12-tone technique) in "Fourteen Thousand Leaves", to a tonal harmonic style indebted to Bill Evans in "Elegy". This final movement features a text written by Bill Zavatsky in memory of Bill Evans, but it is also a fitting tribute to pianist Claude Sifferlen, who passed away in March of 2010 and who was a friend and mentor to several of the musicians on this recording.

Recorded on July 7-8, 2011 at Farm Fresh Studios in Bloomington, IN.


released December 20, 2011

Lauren Walker, Soprano
Emily Feingold, Alto
Steven Bergdall, Piano/Trumpet/Horn/Composer
Sophie Faught, Tenor Sax
Joe Lisinicchia, Guitar
Max Hartstein, Bass
Aaron Kiser, Drums
Andrew Giordano, Violin
Colleen Wang, Violin
Alex Smith, Viola
Zach Mansel, Cello



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Steven Bergdall Lawrence, Kansas

Composer and instrumentalist based in Lawrence, KS.

Influenced by Basie, Debussy, Evans, Ellington, Hildegard, Ravel, Scriabin...

Studied composition at Oberlin and improvisation with Indy jazz masters Baker, Barth, Hartstein and Sifferlen.

Collaborating with Lisinicchia and Kiser since '99.

Member of:
Slumping Polymers Division
25th Century Ensemble
Silver Tears Orchestra
Schoon Trio
... more

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Track Name: The Silver Tears Orchestra - Fourteen Thousand Leaves
There need to be
fourteen thousand leaves
there will to be
fourteen thousand leaves
to fall
for me to roll
roll 'round in
for now i'll wait
for now i'lln waint
'til then i will dance with the leaves
and create perfect hamronleaves
it's then i'll waint
orn then i'lln rolln
fourteen thousand leaves
to roll around in

-Joe Lisinicchia
Track Name: The Silver Tears Orchestra - Steps for Vincent
your vision rings with the joy of a star
the praise of infinite light

You endure hardship, madness, ridicule
as your brush makes a king of a postman

Your steps are enchanted, dreaming, faltering
as you walk toward the harvest at sunset

you labored so long, sowed your seeds of love
rest now
as flowers bloom in the sun

-Steven Bergdall and Emily Feingold
Track Name: The Silver Tears Orchestra - Elegy
Elegy for Bill Evans, 1929-1980

Music your hands are no longer here to make
Still breaks against my ear, still shakes my heart.
Then I feel that I am still before you.
You bend above your shadow on the keys
That tremble at your touch or crystallize,
Water forced to concentrate. In meditation
You close your eyes to see yourself more clearly.

Now you know the source of sound,
The element bone and muscle penetrate
Hoping to bring back beauty.
Hoping to catch what lies beyond our reach,
You hunted with your fingertips.

My life you found, and many other lives
Which traveled through your hands upon their journey.
Note by note we followed in your tracks, like
Hearing the rain, eyes closed to feel more deeply.
We stood before the mountains of your touch.

The sunlight and the shade you carried us
We drank, tasting our bitter lives more sweetly
From the spring of song that never stops its kiss.

Copyright © by Bill Zavatsky
used by permission