168

Jimmy Bruno: Midnight Blue

Charles Chapman By

Sign in to view read count
Jimmy Bruno: Midnight Blue Jimmy Bruno's new release, Midnight Blue, is his best to date. Bruno's past releases, though technically flawless, seemed to cater to the jazz elite and did not open the door for the rest. With "Blue Midnight," he not only opens the doors, but he also commands your presence—and won't let you go until the album ends. Bruno has been a respected professional for many years, but on this new CD he plays like a hungry young lion. He is going to make his mark with this oneï"-not only with jazz guitar aficionados, but also with music lovers from all genres and spectrums.

With his Philly bandmates, Bruno arrives at a place that embraces the old and the new with mutual respect. He uses a variety of guitar effects like chorus and overdrive. I am a jazz purist and generally don't like it when jazz guitarists head in this direction, but with Bruno it just sounds natural and makes sense.

Midnight Blue opens with a very unique version of "Secret Love." Bruno uses a slight chorus effect on his guitar, along with a groove that just won't quit. His next track is the original "Funk 'n Benny" (named after his solid body 7-string guitar, The Benny, made by the legendary luthier Bob Benedetto).

On the third tune, "Hypertension", the trademark Bruno chops rear their head as you think to yourself: "How the hell does he do that!" (In fact, I received a $75 speeding ticket because of this very tune.) I tried to appeal to the Massachusetts State Trooper's sense of artistry and tell him I was caught up in the new Jimmy Bruno CD and would try to control myself in the future. He stated: "If it's not Willie (Nelson), I don't want to hear about it."

The old chestnut "Stella By Starlight" pairs Bruno on his 7-string guitar and Gerald Veasley on his 6-string bass, creating an magically intimate duet. It's hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins, so tight is the arrangement.

The album is filled with surprises: wonderful originals, and new adataptions of old standards. The final tune, an Afro/Cuban version of John Coltrane's "Impressions," energized this piece and gives it an entirely fresh vibe.

The sidemen are wonderful; the tunes are fresh and vibrant; and there is truly a new Jimmy Bruno for the new Millennium.

Websites: Concord Records ; JimmyBruno.com


Track Listing: Secret Love, Funk ?n Benny (Jimmy Bruno), Hypertension (Jimmy Bruno), Shades of Grey (Jimmy Bruno), Into the Blue Light (Ron Kerber), Philly Joe (Gerald Veasley), Midnight Blue (Jimmy Bruno), Fat Tuesday (Ron Kerber), First Dance (Ron Kerber), Perdido, Stella By Starlight, Impressions

Personnel: Jimmy Bruno, guitars, Marc Dicciani, drums, Dave Hartl, piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B-3 organ, Ron Kerber, tenor & soprano saxophones, Gerald Veasley, six-string electric bass

Title: Midnight Blue | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Concord Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Ephimeral" CD/LP/Track Review Ephimeral
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Hudson" CD/LP/Track Review Hudson
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 18, 2017
Read "In The Corner Of The Eye" CD/LP/Track Review In The Corner Of The Eye
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Lubbock (on everything)" CD/LP/Track Review Lubbock (on everything)
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "Z Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Z Octet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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