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Biography

–"Its a real shame this music isn't more widely known because these guys are doing something both original and fresh. Players of uncommon presence and a distinct voice on their respective instruments, leaders Shapiro and Bergeson are both fine jazz musicians. Beyond that their concept of revitalizing various popular, jazz standard, and obscure musical numbers, plus their own slightly loopy tunes….adds up to a kind of musical genius. Music of very high accomplishment." (Audiophile Audition)
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–"From the moment you hear Annie Sellick sing the opening lines from Joni Mitchell’s song “Free Man In Paris,” you feel like she is speaking directly to you. As the song progresses, it becomes impossible to escape Sellick’s powers of seduction, and vibraphonist Steve Shapiro and guitarist/harmonica player Pat Bergeson are perfect accomplices during the takeover. Their blend of jazz, country-folk, and a wee bit of swing makes their latest release Backward Compatible an album that you will want to pass onto your children." -jazzreview.com
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Respected studio musicians from New York and Nashville, Steve Shapiro & Pat Bergeson have worked with artists such as: Alison Krauss, Steely Dan, Bill Frisell, Lyle Lovett, Bill Evans, They Might Be Giants, SpyroGyra, Chet Atkins, and Michael McDonald. Their collaborative sound is an original mix of retro and modern, infused with the lush voice of rising-star jazz vocalist Annie Sellick. Their repertoire is influenced by jazz standards, swingsters like George Barnes and Victor Feldman, and songwriters like Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. On their latest CD, BACKWARD COMPATIBLE, the musicians include bassists Marc Johnson, Doug Weiss, Tim Ferguson, drummers Clint deGanon, Jochen Rueckert, accordionist Will Barrow, saxophonist Scott Kreitzer, and Sting’s backup singers, Janice Pendarvis and Vaneese Thomas. Their previous release, LOW STANDARDS, received praise from many critics.

Steve & Pat have been playing together since the late ‘80’s, when they were regulars at New York clubs such as Mikell’s, Visiones, The Bitter End, and the 55-Bar. In 1992, Pat joined the group of guitar legend Chet Atkins, and moved to Nashville, where he met Annie. Then, after her stunning 2003 recording, “No Greater Thrill” (with Pat and organist Joey DeFrancesco), Steve suggested that Pat & Annie come to New York to collaborate. They have been doing so ever since. In the meantime, Annie has followed her own celebrated career. The LA Times said, “She’s a comer.” And The Village Voice raved, “Annie Sellick has the most pleasing standards voice I’ve heard in a long time.”

“Throughout, the passionate and highly original playing of Shapiro and Bergeson make the music on Backward Compatible consistently irresistible and exciting.”
– Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist & Author

– “On Low Standards, Bergeson and vibist
Steve Shapiro lead their low-key band through
Latinized classics and lush, leisurely originals
with lucid grace…. When they back Sellick on
shorter alternating tracks, they ease into over-
drive for her insinuating smears and hints of
Diana Krall and savvy Carmen McRae snap.”
(Downbeat Magazine)

– “…warm and tasteful…filled with the kind of
retro-cool in-the-pocket grooves that will have
listeners poised for more of Shapiro’s triple-
threat musicality… This CD is definitely saying
something.” (All Music Guide)

– FIVE STARS *****
(FonoForum, Germany)
– “This is unpretentious, straightahead combo
swing. Shapiro sculpts his solos well. But his
frequent four-mallet comping doesn’t go unap-
preciated, and neither does the firm, melodic
walking of bassist Doug Weiss.”
(JazzTimes Magazine)

– “… puts you right in th’ mood… It’s not just
the great recording/production on the album
that will make it a (real) KEEPER, it’s also
the fact that all the players understand how
important it is to have “the groove” together!…
A really GREAT jazz album that gets a MOST
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from us.”
(Improvijazzation Nation)

– “There’s something pleasingly retro about
this group’s sound – there’s nothing loungey
about them, but something will make you
think of cocktails anyway. Not sure how that
works. Recommended.” (CD HotList)

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