|May 28, 2012|
Review By: Georgia Mull
For his 20th outing, the Bass Master himself, Brian Bromberg steps out swinging on this 10 piece ensemble cast of musicians, with a full orchestra and a string section that is second to none. This eclectic mix of jazz titled "Compared To That" is being released June 5th by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records. This Grammy nominated bass pro has not only produced this CD, he also composed eight new songs, and put together a ten-piece brass section and string section of some of the most prominent musicians in the jazz world today. As a jazz fan, you will see or rather hear what I'm talking about in the first track to go to air play "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" You may recognize this piece from the band Chicago, but with Brian's added flair and snappy jazzy beat, he put a new twist to this old favorite.
It's been sometime since Brian Bromberg recorded an upbeat album, so he put a lot of time in to maintaining this swinging pace, and is very successful in doing so. Even though he leans toward more acoustic jazz, he does not allow himself to be defined in this way. His vision takes you on a ride through contemporary jazz, deep down soul and let's not leave out his artistry of beautiful ballads. He is as diversified in his musical styles as is an artist with the different colors on their palette. This is what sets Bromberg apart from others in his field. Throughout this album/cd, Brian not only plays acoustic bass, he is also playing electric and piccolo (both of which are acoustic and steel string) basses. Brian tuned the piccolo bass to sound like a guitar, so that all the leading melodies and many solos on this collection that sound like guitar are actually the piccolo bass. This is a master class musician, doing what he does best, and it's all enhanced by the accomplished musicians that lent their collective talents in what seldom amounts to just two days of live tracking. I am sure you will recognize the sounds of Alex Acuna, Gannin Arnold, Charlie Bisharat, Randy Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, George Duke, Bela Fleck, Mitch Forman, Larry Goldings, Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek and Tom Zink, all of whom are masters in their own right.
Anyone who knows Brian Bromberg, knows that he has a wonderful sense of humor, and it shows in the titling of a few of the tracks on this album, for instance "Rory Lowery-Private Eye" "If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy?" "A Little New Old School" and "I'm Just Sayin." You will also groove on his take of Rick James' signature hit "Give It To Me Baby."
This was essentially a two day live jazz recording session, covered by a full string orchestra section on two tracks, and that ten piece horn section on many of the other tracks. But Brian took his time, 3 1/2 months in production, the kind usually used on big pop recordings. Bromberg explains that he mixed the best of both worlds, the audiophile of big production along with live acoustic jazz. If you were among the lucky ones to attend the Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, Pa., then you may have heard the preview of this album at the Sunday Brunch on March 25th. Brian said that he went with more of his jazzy roots on this album, along with a lot of swing and walking bass. I agree with Brian when he said that it is a true listening jazz CD, of which he himself is very proud of, and rightfully so.
Brian Bromberg also has some other irons in the fire, with a tribute to the iconic Jimi Hendrix, due out on July 3rd, titled "Bromberg Plays Hendrix." This was previously released in Japan, without any guitars, once again using the piccolo bass tuned to the sound of a guitar. Also, another CD titled "In The Spirit Of Jobim" which plays homage to the famed Brazilian bassist, Antonio Carlos Jobim, all in the style of Jobim.
Brian Bromberg is a native of Tuscon, Arizona, but mixing and producing this CD was done in the comfort of his home studio, located in suburban Los Angeles. As a much respected musician, with the gift of making music at a level that many young musicians strive to achieve, his music can be enjoyed by jazz fans world wide. His first professional gig came at the age of 18 when he played on tour for nearly a year with the legendary sax man Stan Getz and his band. His first solo album was in 1986 "A New Day." Since then, he has had many top ten hits along with a pair of #1 singles as a soloist, and a writer and producer for many other artists. Brian Bromberg has played his acoustic and electric bass for such headliners as "Nancy Wilson, Sara Vaughn, Dizzie Gillespie, George Benson, Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Sting, Steven Tyler, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Dave Grusin, Elvis Costello, Dianna Krall, Josh Groban, Michael Buble`, Boney James, Dave Koz, Dave Grusin, Chris Botti and Kenny G, just to name a few. He also has a number of movie soundtracks he's played on adding to his credits, including "The Preacher's Wife" "Fat Albert" "Hope Floats" and "The Fabulous Baker Boys."
Please get this CD, I am sure you will not be disappointed, especially if you are a fan of Brian Bromberg and true jazz. My personal favorite is track 6 "Forgiveness" along with "Give It To Me Baby." I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Click COVER for magazine
page layout views