Alex Bershadsky stands out as a harbinger amidst musicians, not only in his native Israel – but across the globe. Alex is a seasoned composer and accomplished bass player. While he is well schooled in the academics of performance and composition, he still allows the creative innovation and freedom to flow freely from his Muses. Alex has a soul filled with faith and persistence embodied with a total dedication to music.
The uncompromisingly innovative and creative musical skills that Bershadsky possesses are often found in composers of the past, but are a rare combination in composers today. It is no surprise to find that Alex credits the works of Johann Sebastian Bach as one of the many influences in his own development of what is best described as â€œacademic eclecticism.â€
Alex was born in Latvia, but he and his family moved to Israel when he was only two years of age. In Israel, he was immersed almost immediately in an environment of his nationâ€™s top musicians. Undoubtedly, this exposure to master musicians had a tremendous effect on Bershadskyâ€™s development as a performer and composer. For over twenty-five years, Alex had priceless opportunities to perform alongside the crÃ¨me de la crÃ¨me of talent – both in television and radio. Bershadsky has also had the privilege to perform at prestigious events in Israel such as The Red Sea Jazz Festival, and Rigas Ritmi – which is the largest annual rhythmic music festival in the Baltic region.
In the 1990â€™s Alex successfully formed two bands, â€œRTZâ€ and â€œZonzee.â€ It was with these two groups that this young composer truly begins to show the culmination of his talents. Almost all of the material for both â€œRTZâ€ and â€œZonzeeâ€ was penned entirely by Bershadsky. â€œZonzeeâ€ has released two albums, Time Flies in 1999, and Buzz in 2005. Buzz featured legendary guitarist Mike Stern and the album received great press acclamation. It was with the Jazz/Fusion band â€œRTZâ€ that Alex toured Europe extensively in the 1990’s.
It wasn’t long before Alex crossed the Atlantic to perform in places such as world famous Jazz venues such as The Blue Note in New York, and officially representing Israel through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While in Los Angelas, Bershadsky recorded sessions at Steve Vai’s Mother Ship Studio with the famous Argentinean guitarist Carina Alfie and worked with the likes of producer Neil Citron. Now, Alex finds himself as one of the top musicians in Israel, and it is now his talent that is gleaning worldwide attention as he begins a solo career with his latest project entitled Junk.
Junk is Treasure by indie islands Emagazine
Junk is anything but. It’s actually the perfect reflection of what Alex is as a solo artist. This first solo project from Alex stands alone as compositional masterpiece. Ian Freitor produced Junk at Niva Studios in New York. The ten tracks on the album contain a remarkable mix and blend of Jazz, Electronic styles amidst an overlay of Rhythm and Blues and New Age. You cannot box this project into any genre, this is obvious and intentional – a pure reflection of the free flowing creativity that is Alex. With perfect instrumentation and exquisite production Junk will take you on a complete musical journey.
The first track on Junk entitled “Ready, Set, Go!” is the perfect place to start this album for this journey. The first track opens the creative energy with a fast tempo electronic styled composition. You won’t hear the Jazz yet & this is pure Electronic/Dance in nature, but you will hear the musical skills of Alex and his session players along with Alex’s incredible bass playing. Track two on Junk is â€œDay Dreaming Drugs the Pain of Living.â€ The pace begins to soften somewhat from the fast paced tempo of its predecessor. It is here that one will notice the Jazz influences begin to show through. The use of horns is seamlessly blended with incredible bass guitar work. Alex’s influences from artists such as the late great bass player Jaco Pastorius are vividly apparent. In addition, the influence of stylists such as Allan Holdsworth appears throughout Junk.
Another notable track that truly displays what Alex’s style is all about is the final track on the album. â€œRush Hourâ€ demonstrates the raw talent of improvisation and creative compositional skills that Alex is gifted with. It’s perhaps Alex’s favorite track on the album he says, â€œThe last track I am probably most proud of because I didn’t know what I was going to do until the last second.â€
â€œCan’t Get Use to Itâ€ is another track on Junk that probably sums it all up best; we are not used to musical masters in today’s world. They are rare. With the fusion of styles of Alex Bershadsky, it’s impossible to â€œget used to itâ€ That is a good thing and a sign of a true master musician. Junk, as you will find is anything but, in fact Junk is Treasure! With a nexus of determination, talent, creativeness and musical skills, only the future will tell just how far Alex rises as a master of pure â€œacademic eclecticism.â€
Bass musician magazine – October/November 2007 issue
By Damian Erskine
“Israeli Fret-less Bass phenom, Alex Bershadsky, is sure to secure himself a slot in the minds of bass lovers and players everywhere. Having toured festivals around the world as a member of the Israeli fusion band “Zonzee” (and representing Israeli jazz at the Blue Note, NY at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), those “in the know” have already known Alex to be an accomplished player, lyrical soloist and sure footed technician. His first solo release, “Junk” has proven Alex to also be a wonderful writer.
While this album will take us down many roads stylistically, Alex’s voice on the instrument (4 string fret-less Zon Legacy Elite) is strong and comes across beautifully in every setting. From the beautiful and haunting melodies of “Drift” to the hard driving and uber-funky “That’s the Way It Is” or the Willis inspired “Rush Hour”, this album will surely have you checking his website for scheduling to see when he’s coming to town. This band Smokes.”