Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Russell van den Berg is an award winning British Saxophonist based in London. He is as comfortable surrounded by the likes of Kenny Wheeler, to being a regular featured soloist in UK Contemporary Big Bands or Large Ensembles. With a growing discography, including four solo albums and many as a sideman, he also continues to lead his own evolving regular groups. “Centre-Line” is his main focal group and co-lead venture with drummer Darren Altman. As well as being a foremost respected professor in the UK’s leading Jazz institute (Trinity College of Music, where he lectures and coaches), he’s also a composer and arranger and has acquired several commissions and awards. Russell has acquired many accolades of the years from critics, as well as his peers and those he continues to look up to;
Congratulations to Russell and the group. The compositions are quite beautiful and the performances superb, very contemporary in rhythm and feel . Tenor and soprano solos have great flow, restraint and yet an abundance of ideas plus a passionate lyricism. The whole group seems to share these qualities! The benign spirits of “Jarrett hover over this haunting, gloriously sonorous music......
Ian Carr �� for “All we Have”, 1st solo album review.
There has been much enthusiasm in the jazz press of late concerning Van den Berg, and his soloing over accommodating chord sequences is indeed something to celebrate: he launches himself into his breaks as if obeying a starting pistol, and buzzes around, through and over the changes like a man possessed, at times (as in the second set's opening flagwaver) … He is also an engaging stage presence with a ready wit… This undeniably exciting band … attracted a respectably sized audience to the club… They're a muscular, versatile and attention-grabbing outfit with a virtuoso frontman, and who could reasonably wish for much more than that!
The vortex Jazz club review of “Centre-Line”(London)
Heading up the pack of fast maturing London-based bands that are turning their extensive schooling and high-level real world professionalism into their own ensembles, quintet Centre Line have been gaining huge respect over months of steady gigging. Co-led by ex-NYJO drummer Darren Altman and multi-award winning saxophonist Russell Van Den Berg �� Altman’s rhythmic bite perfectly complimenting Berg’s harmonic bark �� there’s talent more to spare in the shape of guitarist de jour Mike Outram, great bassist Tom Mason and superb pianist Simon Colam all propelling this hugely confident group forward. Balanced by the wonderfully grooving rhythm section, it’s Outram’s chomping guitar and Berg’s explosive chops that maintain a sense of drama and surprise through every twisting bar, this is a band to watch.
Jazz Wise Magazine review of Centre-Line
Russell van den Berg has impressed everyone who has heard him over the last few years. You can hear just why so many people are talking about him, as he crafts every solo with his trademark combination of wonderful control and lively, angular melodic ideas. Jazz UK magazine.
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Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.