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Brian Bromberg: Thicker Than Water

Read "Thicker Than Water" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Brian Bromberg specializes in smooth jazz. That's music with rough edges removed. He plays it on basses, upright and electric, and on piccolo basses which are tuned to sound like guitars. It's all fiendishly clever but Bromberg remains modest. He uses a whole side of the album's cover to thank everyone, including God, “for trusting me with the gifts that you have given me." He's had his ups and downs. In 1979, when he ...

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Brian Bromberg: Brian Bromberg

Read "Brian Bromberg" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Talk about backstory! There are multiple backstories going on with bass virtuoso Brian Bromberg's Full Circle. The first actually involves Bromberg's back. Full Circle marks Bromberg's return to recording and full-on playing since suffering a debilitating spinal injury several years ago. Always a chops-meister, Bromberg truly projects the sheer joy of music-making throughout. Cutting loose seems like a great thing to do, as Bromberg could barely hold his instruments, let alone play them, even after months of physical therapy and ...

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Brian Bromberg: Compared to That

Read "Compared to That" reviewed by Larry Taylor

Ever sit back dreamily listening to an album, letting the music wash over you when all of a sudden, you hear a number that snaps you to attention? Such is the experience when listening to Brian Bromberg's Compared to That. The noteworthy number here: “Hayride," an original by Bromberg. Earlier tracks are hard-edged smooth jazz arrangements. The title track shows off Jeff Lorber's piano, along with Bromberg's unique work on acoustic bass and hollow body piccolo bass. (Album ...

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Brian Bromberg: Downright Upright

Read "Downright Upright" reviewed by Jim Santella

Retro-inspired grooves can mean a lot of things--it depends on how far back one wants to go.

On Downright Upright, bassist Brian Bromberg takes a retro tour of the era when Freddie Hubbard and Herbie Hancock were reaching a peak. Joe Zawinul and Eddie Harris were changing the scope of jazz. Weather Report was in, and jazz was changing rapidly. The umbrella was opening up to include innovative ideas and comfortable melodies that lingered in the mind for ...

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Brian Bromberg: Wood II

Read "Wood II" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

On Wood II, bassist Brian Bromberg, instead of showcasing new material, prefers to give his take on songs by a different range of composers, some of whom, like Paul McCartney and Kansas, are not directly associated with jazz. He opens with a classic Duke Ellington number, “Caravan, showing incredible speed during certain moments and also giving a lot of space to pianist Randy Waldman to show his chops. Another impressive track is Kenny Dorham's “Blue Bossa, which ...

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Brian Bromberg: Wood II

Read "Wood II" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Brian Bromberg's extraordinary new release is a jazz album cured of the blues. Devoid of deep suffering pools, spare introspective valleys or convoluted mazes of cerebration, the mostly trio Wood II looks out over a vista of pure musical enjoyment seen from peaks of virtuosic playfulness. Listening to Bromberg take apart and reconstruct such staples as “Caravan, “Blue Bossa and “Bolivia is like watching a child diving into a birthday cake. He consumes these tunes with wild ...

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Brian Bromberg: Wood II

Read "Wood II" reviewed by Robert R. Calder

On whatever Brian Bromberg has done, he's proven himself a very gutsy bassist, not just a virtuoso who's too notable for mere technique. The opening “Caravan" on Wood II does indeed begin with the sort of neo-boogaloo that young guys used to get New Orleans brass bands going again a couple of decades back. The weight of the snare drum's just right to keep the swing going, and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta has another good workout in the run into track ...


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