How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The jazz fusion that Weather Report and Jaco Pastorius symbolized has influenced countless contemporary artists. Bassist Brian Bromberg pays homage to Pastorius’ brief benchmark career through hip selections that showcase the bass. Bromberg’s upfront lyricism is, without question, one of the high points in contemporary jazz. When he steps out front with upright bass on “Portrait of Tracy,” for example, the leader speaks through his instrument with a natural ease. It’s genetic. The addition of a funky horn section, lush strings, hip rhythms and surround-sound synths gives his session the kind of slant that keeps it on your mind all day long. You feel it in your bones, of course, and that’s not undesirable. Bob Mintzer takes frequent solos throughout the session. The pairing of sultry tenor and fluid bass in the spotlight makes for an exciting scene. He shares a lovely tenor ballad feature with “A Remark You Made,” on which Bromberg urges his acoustic double bass on confidently through lyrical phrases. He takes on “Slang(ish)” alone, and amasses heaps of passion. You’re reminded of a bullfight, and the thousands of fans cheering for the brave matador. For this event, however, the center of the dirt floor arena is occupied by a lone musician who leaves his imprint on the hearts and minds of those who follow. Audio samples from this contemporary jazz album are available at Bromberg’s web site .
Track Listing: Come On, Come Over; Continuum; Teen Town; A Remark You Made;
Portrait of Tracy; Three Views of a Secret; The Chicken; Tears; Slang(ish).
Personnel: Brian Bromberg- 5-string bass, acoustic bass, fretless bass, acoustic
piccolo bass, fretted bass; Jeff Lorber- keyboards, electric piano; Tom
Zink, Dave Kochanski- piano, keyboards; Gregg Mathison- B3 organ;
Derrick (D*Loc) Walker, Joel Taylor- drums; Alex Acuna- percussion; Chris
Wabich- steel drums; Gannin Arnold- guitar; Eric Marienthal- soprano
saxophone; Dan Higgins- alto saxophone; Larry Williams, Bob Mintzer-
tenor saxophone; Gary Grant, Jerry Hey- trumpet; Andy Martin- trombone;
students of the University of Southern California (USC) Symphony
Orchestra- strings; Bill Champlain, Bobby Kimball- vocals on