Sea of Tranquility Review of BERKANA

ERKANA (self-titled album) 2005 Sea of Tranquility by Yves Dubé

Berkana is a jazz-fusion trio hailing from New Jersey featuring a very fast, fluid and flashy guitarist named Nat Janoff. His note frenetic style will draw the inevitable comparisons to Alan Holdsworth, John McLaughlin, and Scott McGill.
However, the 8 tracks that comprise this disc arenʼt your typical fusion fare. This record is not wall-to-wall guitar pyrotechnics.
Joining Mr. Janoff are the very capable Ray LeVier on drums and the very talented Rave Tesar, who handles the piano and organ duties. His sensible palying takes the edge off some of Janoffʼs spicy solos and acts as a great counterweight. This contrasting sound tends to give this album a more traditonal jazz feel.
What makes this record stand out from the sea of “yet another faster than light guitar extravaganza" is the contrasting styles of the musicians involved in the project. This tends to elevate the music abouve the over-indulgent fare often associated with this genre. Fans of pure flash may be left wanting more, but those who enjoy a more chops-heavy form of contemporary jazz may find this debut disc to their tastes.