Whenever people write about Gene Bertoncini's music, the same words tend to appear: elegant, graceful, versatile. Lyrical. Master. Virtuoso. Writer Gene Lees called him the Segovia of jazz," the perfect term for one who creates such poetry with the acoustic, nylon-stringed guitar. Still a busy performer, teacher, and clinician, Bertoncini has played in many styles and settings in his five-decade career, and swings in all of them. Following the 2004 release of Quiet Now
(Ambient), he has become increasingly admired for the crystalline beauty of his solo work. Bertoncini is an unusually modest musician, known for his gentle nature and open heart; this could explain the remarkable purity of his playing.
Bertoncini was kind enough to travel to my home for a recent interview, where we shared some laughs and lunch and a happy interlude in which he played my own classical guitar. We talked about his multifaceted career and the connections he draws between his music and his degree in architecture...
Check out Gene Bertoncini: Architect of the Guitar at AAJ today.