There is a kind of caution sidelined audacity, even if a gentle kind, that determinedly and fearlessly explores music’s relationships and its core DNA. David Berkman checks a lot of the standard defining boxes in the jazz universe. His base is New York City but he is originally from the Midwest. There is a sensibility of wryness in that, some looking at the rest of the world with a little bit of eye-wink wit and curiosity.

He is a piano player, composer and bandleader, and educator. Grasp this glimpse of that midwestern wryness and wit, and audaciousness of exploration: A solo piano recording of his is an inspired pairing of the music of John Coltrane and Pete Seeger. Those icons defining an American’ness in their own spirited, beautiful, unique, and unexpectedly, naturally, similar ways; taking the fabric of a nationality, its culture and cultures, trials and triumphs, as textures, and then unpretentiously expressing it so significantly through their music. To have the clarity of vision and soulful freedom to give a musical presentation of times spent and happened, then to make links without pause find similarity, is an audacious true, wit-colored understanding of the fabric of the music and the overarching cultural presence that is the genre of jazz.