The Big Apple Sessions Studio EP

The Big Apple Sessions

The Bobby Syvarth Combo

Recorded and Produced by Dan Myers at DUMBO STUDIO, New York City.

Gregg Gerson Bio:

Over the years, drummer Gregg Gerson has either recorded or performed alongside some of rock's biggest names - including Billy Idol and the Who's Roger Daltrey, among others. Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Gerson started playing drums at the age of six, and just four years later, was playing in front of audiences at small local clubs. During his teenage years, Gerson broadened his horizons by studying timpani, vibraphone and traps at the Settlement School of Music in Philadelphia, and becoming proficient at other instruments as well - flute, guitar, bass, and keyboards. Although he was fast becoming one of the most renowned all-around musicians working on the Jersey Shore club circuit, Gerson opted to relocate to New York City during the summer of 1976. Soonafter, he landed work alongside guitarist Jack Sonni (Dire Straits), as well as Carlos Alomar (David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Paul McCartney) and John McCurry (Cyndi Lauper, Alice Cooper, Billy Joel). Further gigs followed (with Ronnie Spector, Benny Mardones, and Mayday), before friend/guitarist Steve Stevens offered Gerson to join Billy Idol's backing band in the early '80s. Gerson accepted, and lent his drumming talents to arguably Idol's best album, 1983's Rebel Yell, which spawned such hit singles/MTV videos as the title track and "Eyes without a Face." During the early '90s, Gerson signed on for the recording of Roger Daltrey's 1992 solo outing, Rocks in the Head, and eventually toured alongside the former Who frontman during the latter part of the decade, as a member of the British Rock Symphony. Additionally, Gerson has served as a touring drummer for Steve Jones (ex-Sex Pistols), Wayne Kramer (ex-MC5), Belinda Carlisle, Michael Bolton, and even his old pal Steve Stevens, and has played on various jingles and commercials.

Jeff Berman Bio:

As one of the musicians of choice in what has become known in NYC as the "downtown" music scene, Jeff Berman has played (vibes, drums & percussion) and recorded with Tony Trishka, Blue Gene, Tyranny, Peter Gordon's Love of Life Orchestra, Frank Christian, Andy Statman, Peter Stampfel, and The Longtoe Band, to name a few. Moving freely between the worlds of jazz, folk and the avant-garde, Berman's take on the vibes is characteristically intense: "There is a dark side of the instrument's character that I explore through my composing and playing". "...Berman spins evocative arabesques whose form and function are defined as much by what is not said as that which is actually stated..."
-Jazz Times "...there is a depth to Berman's music that bears repeated listening...this is laughing mallet music..."
-Victory Review "...hypnotic vibes work...he sounds like he created the instrument".
-Jazziz
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Alive At Sarah Street full length live album

Alive At Sarah Street

The Bobby Syvarth Combo

Special new liner notes from Tim Carbone (Railroad Earth/The Contribution)

For three (or so) years back in the late 90’s John Skehan, Carey Harmon and I played with Bobby Syvarth in the Bobby Syvarth Combo every Sunday night at a little bar in Stroudsburg, PA called the Sarah Street Grill. In fact it was how I met Carey and how it came to be that he would become Railroad Earth’s drummer. It was a great exercise for me as Bobby’s melodic tunes proved to be the perfect petri dish that led, in a large way, to the development of my improvisational style. There was always room and ample time within the songs to stretch out and really find yourself musically.

There was a revolving door of musicians, so to speak, but the constant was pretty much myself and Mr. Harmon (who played percussion). It all came to a creative head with the recording and release of “Alive At Sarah Street”, a frozen moment in the brief life of a fertile music scene. Pretty much all the musicians that did the gig through the years are present and in fantastic form. And what a great moment it is!

-Timmy Carbone. December 31, 2011.
----------------------------------------------

There was an album back when recordings were done in that missed style, called ALIVE AT SARAH STREET. The band was The Bobby Syvarth Combo, and the executive producer was me, David Lapoint, the owner of the venue. I had become a big fan of Bobby's music, and just as big a fan of the musicians that performed with him. I wanted to make sure there was documentation/recording to ensure that these great musical "moments" would be forever around.

Many of the artists that performed in this four night live show have gone on to become quite famous, three being in the band RAILROAD EARTH - TIm Carbone, John Skehan, and Carey Harmon. You could argue that without "ALIVE" there would be no Railroad Earth! The bass player, Jai Dillon, tours with the best, and is truly one of the best I have ever heard. The horn section had Christopher Rafael Cuzme, or just CUZME, on saxophone, and he is as gifted as it gets! I could write compliments to the rest of the band, some who performed on all, and some who had guest appearances, because they were all great!

We spared no expense or effort and recorded four nights straight - after years of weekly shows at my venue, and months of rehearsal at my house. We brought in the best local studio to record and then spent many hours making sure our recording captured the quality of the live performance. I was not one of the musicians, but it will forever be an honor to be able include myself as part of this project. The end result is a recording that should be listened to from beginning to end. That is something the music world truly misses.

David Lapoint
Owner/GM The Sarah Street Grill
January 5, 2012.
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Live Multitrack Board Bootleg

Live at Centenary College 12/16/00 Opening for Stanley Jordan

Bobby Syvarth

Recorded live at Whitney Chapel, Hackettstown, NJ. 12/16/2000 by Mark Clifford, Skylands Pro Audio. Opening set for Blue Note recording artist Stanley Jordan.
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Nice Hat Studio Debut Album

Nice Hat

Bobby Syvarth

Original Liner Notes By BJ Ward:

"Nice Hat." It's something you say when you recognize something that's lying on somebody's head that you don't really recognize but is immediately familiar to you. "Nice Hat." I recognized this music the first time I heard it. I'm not talking about the Paul Simon traces in "A Bag Lady Dreams..." or the narrative style handed down from troubadors and Bowery bums. I'm talking about recognizing truths-the evocation of human experience, strung out from a speaker to the dishes gathering in your sink. I could hang things from these sounds, whether it's the revelatory freedom that comes with found love as captured in "May You Live" or the resigned regret that sticks to those of us who loved ardently and suffered, though not fruitlessly, as evoked in "One About The Moon." Syvarth, you dog, you've stolen some meat from the butchers shop and twisted the sausages into valentines! Who would have known there was such potential for love and anguish scuffed into the on-ramps of Brooklyn?

The two main places Bobby sings about are the Brooklyn Bridge, and the universe around it, both highly underrated. Bobby gives each its due; he is the man who jumps from that bridge, but instead of of plunging to the water he rises to the sky, becomes the intent observer of lovers' politics and a bully's first kiss. A nice hat is rare - a good bridge between your thoughts and the universe. Those of us who have found one don't give it up easily for others to try on. Thanks Bobby.

-BJ Ward

Editorial Review Relix Magazine:

The Bobby Syvarth Combo is not so much a permanent group of musicians as a gathering of different players that embellish the songsof the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Bobby Syvarth. So, it should be no surprise to find that Syvarth's songs are esoteric blends of American music, containing a fresh and unpredictable element. One of the most consistent factors of the Combo (since 1996) has been the harmony vocals of Nicole Grana, which perfectly complement Syvarth's warm-hearted leads in his excellent debut album, Nice Hat. The disc contains nine finely-crafted originals and an imaginative cover of James Taylor's "Traffic Jam." By adding spontaneity and jazzy improvisations to his songs, Syvarth is almost redefining the singer-songwriter category to fit in with the more adventurous jam- and groove-based music of the '90s. A whole slew of musicians help out on the disc including members of From Good Homes, but it is still the poignant and articulate songs of Syvarth and his singing with Grana that really grab you.

Mick Skidmore, Relix Magazine.
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Live Bootleg, The Connecticut Yankee, San Francisco, CA.

Live Bootleg, The Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles, CA.