Bitter Funeral Beer is an album by Swedish ethnomusicologist, drummer, and composer Bengt Berger recorded in 1981 and released on the ECM label.[1]

Contents Edit


  • 1 Reception
  • 2 Track listing
  • 3 Personnel
  • 4 References

Reception[edit] Edit

The Allmusic review by Brian Olewnick awarded the album 4½ stars stating "the combination of stunningly gorgeous repeating themes and inspired improvising make one wish the music would never stop. This recording, though little known, is one of the very finest items ever released by ECM. While wonderful in and of itself, it might also serve as a fine introduction to West African music, albeit via a circuitous route through Stockholm".[2]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [2]

Track listing[edit] Edit

All traditional compositions arranged by Bengt Berger
  1. "Bitter Funeral Beer" - 9:18
  2. "Blekete" - 3:05
  3. "Chetu" - 3:20
  4. "Tongsi" - 5:03
  5. "Darafo/Funeral Dance (Dar Kpee)" - 22:16
    • Recorded at Decibel Studios in Stockholm, Sweden in January 1981

Personnel[edit] Edit

  • Bengt Berger - xylophone (ko-gyil - Lo Birifor funeral xylophone)
  • Don Cherry - pocket trumpet
  • Tord Bengtsson - violin, electric guitar
  • Jörgen Adolfsson - violin, sopranino saxophone, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone
  • Tommy Adolfsson - trumpet
  • Christer Bothen - bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
  • Thomas Mera Gartz - violin, tenor saxophone, drums
  • Matthias Hellden - cello
  • Ulf Wallander - soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone;
  • Kjell Westling - sopranino saxophone, bass clarinet
  • Sigge Krantz - electric guitar, bass, electric bass;
  • Bosse Skoglund - drums;
  • Anita Livstrand - voice, bells, axatse (rattle)

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