All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

232

Jack Broad: Current

Ian Patterson By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Jack Broad: Current The technological revolution is seeing ever more musicians recording and producing music themselves, thus threatening the predatory species known as big labels with extinction. Jack Broad is one such musician, and his independent debut, Current, was written, programmed, played, recorded, mixed and produced by the guitarist in little more than a year.

Broad is a guitarist with great chops and an approach to the guitar that is as much informed by the blues-rock of Jimi Hendrix as it is the fusion breed six-stringers. The combination results in an exciting attack with various accents. Add to the mix a keen sense of melody and penchant for catchy tunes which range from synth-pop to Steve Hillage space-rock/dance-beat ambience, and the result is never short of absorbing.

Broad uses sprinklings of spacey effects to conjure large sonic horizons on the intro, "Realm," which also features passing tabla beats and a drum 'n bass rhythm. The beat segues into the title track where the melody, presented by Broad's guitar, is carried along on a repeating keyboard scale. He develops his solo without loitering and displays clean, fluid lines which never abandon the melody.

One of the most satisfying aspects of Current is its variety of musical textures. "Swamp Witch" lays down an ominous bass groove, out of which Broad produces a grinding, blues-rock solo that barks, howls and spits before returning to the depths of the swamp. There is an epic quality to the brief "Rise and Shine," and Broad's long, crying notes suggest Pink Floyd's David Gilmour playing the soundtrack to the film Blade Runner (1982).

As impressive as his guitar playing is, programming and keyboards share center-stage, and Broad even sets his guitar to the side on "Never Coming Back," the second-longest track on Current. The pretty keyboard riff, big drum beat and darkly anthemic synth melody could almost be a wordless creation of The Cure, and is a highlight of the album.

A churning bass sound, almost didgeridoo-like, anchors "Emanations," the most overtly jazz-like number on the disc. Broad solos in a refined, melodic manner which, on a superficial level, is suggestive of Pat Metheny, although Broad's soloing style is slightly more angular and tarter. The closer, "Nu Sounds," has an underlying club groove, with a heavy bass bottom and swirling synth setting the stage for Broad's most unfettered guitar solo of the set.

A solo project in the truest sense, Broad takes all the plaudits for an engaging and impressive debut. It would be fascinating, however, if his next project were to see him surrounded by like-minded musicians. Jack Broad has created music which is raw and earthbound one moment and spacey and atmospheric the next. His ability to successfully integrate ambient pop with guitar-based fusion excursions and juxtapose insistent rhythms—tribal and modern alike—marks him out as a talent worthy of wider recognition.


Track Listing: Realm; Current; Emanations; Cold Cut; Swamp Witch; Rise And Shine; Never Coming Back; World Line; Nu Sounds (For The Old Soul).

Personnel: Jack Broad: guitars, all instruments, programming, engineering, mixing, production.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Current
Current
Self Produced
2009
buy
Miles Davis Miles Davis
trumpet
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Chick Corea Chick Corea
piano
Weather Report Weather Report
band/orchestra
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.