He plays regular trumpet on most of the jobs he gets hired for. Linda Ronstadt nabbed him for her forthcoming album; Visa used his music in a commercial featuring Derek Jeter and George Steinbrenner; and he plays on bassist Mario Pavone's latest disc Mythos (Playscape, 2003). The only musician who's been able to accept the sound of the slide trumpet on his albums is Lou Reed. A hot commodity in the music world, Bernstein's just taking it as it comes. "Some people plan their life. It doesn't matter how you get there if you don't know where you're going. It allows me to travel through life and smell the flowers," he said. Other projects have included a couple of film scores including Get Shorty and Kansas City ; he led John Lurie's Lounge Lizards; composed music for animated TV shows; and released two discs on John Zorn's Tzadik label, Diaspora Blues (2002), and Diaspora Soul (1999).
"I try to show up on time and wear the right clothes," He said of his luck in the job market. "It's important. They'll hire you back." One day last month Bernstein showed off his fashion sense at Madison Square Park where he played a few tunes to kick off a summer concert series. In soft leather loafers from Amsterdam, seersucker trousers from Edmonton, a Swiss shirt and Kangol cap, he was a vision in baby blue. Nice clothes make Bernstein happy. As does sitting in the sunshine on a summer day. If the trumpeter's music is a true reflection of who he is, you can believe it's chock full of exuberance, passion, and a relentless drive to keep going.