Brian Bromberg It Is What It Is
What happens when you get over 20 artists together to make a CD? You get a jam session and that’s what Brian Bromberg’s new CD, “It Is What It Is”, turned out to be. Brian’s CD is comprised of an a list of musical all-stars from George Duke, Dan Siegel, Patrice Rushen, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun, Paul Jackson Jr., Eric Marienthal and Jeff Lorber to just name a few, of which you are sure to have some of their music already in your collection.
The now GRAMMY nominated artist has released this follow up to “Downright Upright” with 13 tracks of slammin, head swaying, grooving gems that are sure to get heavy rotation in a jazz lover’s I-pod.
“It Is What It Is” contains two cover songs that are sure to bring back some youthful memories. First there’s Quincy Jones’ theme to Sanford & Son which has been all jazzed-up and The B-52’s “Love Shack” which will have you dancing in the aisles during the festival season.
While at the Bass Player LIVE 2009 in Los Angeles, Brian gave pointers and showed techniques on the instrument he has been playing on for over 30 years now. There was also testing of the various manufactures’ new designs from Germany to China. Later we found a somewhat quiet room filled with equipment and we sat down on crates to discuss “It Is What It Is”.
SJM: How does it feel to be introduced now as GRAMMY nominated Brian Bromberg?
Brian: Wow, it is awesome. To know that all the years of hard work is finally being recognized means so much.
SJM: As producer of each one of your CD’s over the years, how have you grown?
Brian: Gosh! By leaps and bounds; as I listen to some of my first CD’s I hear so many mistakes but since I was alone, there was no one looking over my shoulder to say this is how it should be done. I have grown a lot and am still growing. I hope to continue to grow with each new CD.
SJM: What is it like to have so many talented artists playing your music?
Brian: “It's a joy. I am a very simple writer and I don’t do theory. I’m not trained classically or anything like that. It all just comes from within. So basically I give them the melody but also give them the latitude to create and put their spin and we just go for it”. Brian’s eyes light up as he talks about the horn section. “I don’t stand in their way and the result is the funky horn arrangements.”
SJM: Speaking of funky, there are two songs that were collaborations that are off the charts. Tell me about them.
Brian: “Yes Dave Kochanski, provided me with demos for “Excuse Me” and “Saul Goode”. I provided the rhythm and groove parts and it came out with high funky R&B energy that went to another level.”
When asked about track 6 “The Mirror," Brian was candid about his state of being when he sat down to play this solo piece. Due to a heartfelt break up of a recent love, he had to look in the mirror and the emotion from within is what came out. Even though Brian admits there are a few things that could have been done differently in the 2-minute song, it was done in one take and he decided not touch it as it is how he felt at the time and he walked away from it.
As we dissected several of the songs and placed them in categories ranging from Dance, Funk, Romance to Smooth Jazz, it was evident that the passion for each song was still over-whelming for Brian. He said they all tell a story from within. He critiqued the melodic songs like “Life” and “Heaven”, the funkier songs of “Mr. Miller” and “Slap Happy” and one that Smooth Jazz lovers will definitely enjoy is the melody of, “Anticipation”. And what category would Brian put the title track in, “It Is What It Is!"