Troy Collins, Point of Departure
Issue 54 March 2016

Easily holding his own in this spare setting, Berman’s adventurous approach sustains interest throughout eleven concise tunes, demonstrating the harmonic and melodic sophistication of his protean technique.

Troy Collins

Andy Hamilton, Jazz Journal
March 2016

The result is a unique sound world, with each player creating surprising timbres and sounds. Berman is an immediately distinctive, strongly individual stylist.

Andy Hamilton

Bill Meyer, Downbeat
1 February 2016

For the first time, Berman leads an ensemble without a chordal instrument, or even another horn. All 11 compositions are his, and each is compact, clocking in between three and five minutes. Such pith demands that listeners pay attention to the details of the music, and there’s plenty to find there.

Bill Meyer

Stef, FreeJazzBlog (Excerpt)
14 January 2016

This is highly entertaining music, but then of the best kind, clever, inventive, creative with great interaction, and wonderful playing full of little surprises, which is so good, that it made me laugh out loud several times out of sheer joy.

Stef, FreeJazzBlog

David Whiteis, Jazztimes
22 December 2015

As challenging, even demanding, as this music can be, it’s also welcoming. There’s a warm-hearted openness of spirit to Berman’s playing that should make it accessible even to listeners who may harbor doubts about free improvisation. Everyone can feel welcome at this dance.

David Whiteis

Mark Corroto, All About Jazz
18 October 2015

The music here, although fully composed, feels off the cuff. That is, until you recognize just how tight this trio is.

Mark Corroto

Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine
15 October 2015

Spacing and dynamics constitute core considerations as well with Berman threading in pauses and detours at unpredictable intervals alongside responsive commentary from his colleagues. For just three instruments the density and acuity of activity is frequently startling.

Derek Taylor

Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune (Excerpt)
20 September 2015

Throughout, Berman left himself quite exposed in this music, his colleagues providing texture and support but leaving the heavy lifting to him. That he sustained interest with such straightforward, linear playing said a great deal about the eloquence of his musical vocabulary.

Howard Reich

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic
18 September 2015

Still, the main pleasure of A Dance and a Hop remains how the trio turns this cerebral music into something visceral; the performances retain their kick in subsequent spins.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
9 September 2015

But he reaches new heights on A Dance and a Hop (Delmark), a gorgeously conceived trio outing that shows him reveling in sound qua sound as never before.

– Peter Margasak

Chicago Reader
23 August 2012

Cornetist Josh Berman has developed this terrific octet in fits and starts over the past five years… Berman and company have turned the band into something thoroughly modern, ingesting their source material and preserving its character while creating something wholly new.

-Peter Margasak

Aaron Cohen, DownBeat "Editors Picks 2012"
August 2012

For the past five years, Chicago-based cornetist Josh Berman has dug deeply into his city’s early jazz traditions to craft an inventive take on the 1920s repertoire of the Austin High Gang, particularly Eddie Condon, Bud Freeman and Dave Tough. 

Aaron Cohen

Troy Collins, allaboutjazz.com
31 May 2009

Berman’s open-ended writing is complemented by his buttery tone and malleable phrasing, favoring the cornet’s mid-range over piercing, brassy pyrotechnics.

Troy Collins

Areif Sless-Kitain, Time Out Chicago
16 August 2012

The new, perfectly titled There Now is the 39-year-old’s strongest statement yet as a leader, affirming his gift as an arranger and composer, featuring relatively obscure Austin High standbys like “Liza,” where a lively, Dixieland head detours into a cacophonous swirl of untethered textures topped by Berman’s spiralling horn.

Areif Sless-Kitain

Howard Reich - Chicago Tribune
23 August 2012

Whether offering freewheeling improvisations on vintage tunes such as “Love Is Just Around the Corner” and “Sugar” or penning originals that embrace multiple jazz eras, Berman seems intent on devouring an entire century or more of jazz vocabulary.

Howard Reich

Ben Ratliff - New York Times
17 August 2012

This group breaks these pieces down, and then reassembles them in a pretty profound and extraordinary way, moving between real ballad playing (sweet and careful) and agitated group improvisation (but never just outbursts; as a composer-arranger, Mr. Berman is a strategist).

Ben Ratliff

Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune
12 June 2009

Berman…stands as an innovator who embraces our collective jazz past. His lithe solos evoke cornetists going back to Rex Stewart and Bix Beiderbecke, even as Berman speaks a freshly autobiographical musical language. The past, present and future of jazz coalesce to often mesmerizing effect in Berman’s work.

Howard Reich

DownBeat Feature by Michael Jackson
October 2010

The wry self-effacement of Old Idea notwithstanding, the music therein is fresh and porous, structures designed with flexibility as the core of conceptual strength.

Michael Jackson