With a fusion-for-today mindset, savvy tech work and some imagination, New York guitarist Jack Broad amps up the cool factor on Current. This debut goes beyond the usual fretboard pyrotechnics as Broad puts on a one-man show, not only laying down heated guitar licks but also writing, programming and delivering everything into the final product.
While the music lies in the same vein as works by well-known guitarists Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale, Current's little touchessuch as the atmospheric electronic effects on "Realm"add a psychedelic touch. That track discreetly sets up the title track, a composition with a sci-fi attitude, keyboards, a pulsating rhythm and Broad's sharped edged guitar playing.
Broad's performance matches the music's intelligent design, from clean or distorted riffs to intricate soloing ("Emanations") to a nasty moog-synth bass and hypno-club beat on the killer "Cold Cut." Tunes like "Swamp Witch" have multiple-personalitiesthe Texas rock/blues swagger of Stevie Ray Vaughan, a slow cooked jazz swing tempo and even a little grind-house horror movie to match.
The remaining tracks don't wane. "Rise And Shine" has a rock-anthem quality, whereas "Never Coming Back" contains shadowy contours reminiscent of Pink Floydian dreamscapes. The lighter popping themes in "World Line" and "Nu Sounds" are equally hip; the former donned with odd dance syncopation and the latter spinning a Nuevo-suave beat, a scorching guitar solo and a closing with sampled R&B voice.
High quality composition combined with Broad's creative DIY skills, make Current a totally fun release.
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.
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.