South Florida guitarist Randy Bernsen, started his recording career in an unorthodox way, calling a collection of jazz/fusion luminaries who, even to his surprise, agreed to be a part of his 1986 debut album Music for People, Planets & Washing Machines. After recruiting fretless bass giant and fellow South Florida resident Jaco Pastorius and getting a return call of interest from keyboard virtuoso Herbie Hancock, it was easier to interest keyboardist Bob James and drummer Peter Erskine. Released on MCA's Zebra label, the album earned Bernsen write-ups in Down Beat and Guitar Player magazines and appeared to start a flourishing career. Bernsen's follow-up, 1987's Mo' Wasabi, was even better, as his initial all-stars were joined by saxophonists Wayne Shorter and Michael Brecker, bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Steve Gadd, and harmonica legend Toots Thielemans. More positive press from JAZZIZ and USA Today followed. A stint with former Weather Report leader Joe Zawinul (replacing fellow South Florida guitarist Scott Henderson) helped develop Bernsen's unique guitar synthesizer talent. This resulted in some fine work on Zawinul's 1992 Lost Tribes CD, and Bernsen's independently released CD Calling Me Back Home featured another all-star roster the next year... Joe Sample, Toots Thielemans, Brandon Fields, and Abraham Laboriel. His house gig at a Fort Lauderdale club resulted in Bernsen's next CD, Live at Tavern 213, and featured excellent improvisations and catchy melodies. Live in San Miguel de Allende was Bernsen’s follow up CD recorded at an international festival in Mexico. Presently, Jericho Jams, his production house, is responsible for the following three CDs… Be Still and Know, Angels We Have Heard On High, AppTeaser, recorded with his organ trio.This CD also features jazz jam legend John Medeski on the cut Groove On. (Bernsen’s musical nod to former boss Joe Zawinul.) ... JAZZ-JAM-IMPROV!
GRACE NOTES is the latest project, co-produced with Jimmi Haslip, features Peter Erskine, Scott Kinsey, Russel Ferrante and other Los Angeles illuminaries. Just re-released on BLU CANOE RECORDS.
Bernsen has also released various single projects recently spanning the blues, punk jazz and pop ballads. STAY TUNED!
ALL THAT JAZZ- "Bernsen is always melodic and interesting; regardless if he is writing lines and arrangements with a soul-jazz, bluesy or rippin' on a second line feel, his note choices and delivery is always simply beautiful."