This is a logical tribute album from one great bassist (Brian Bromberg) to another (Jaco Pastorius). The front of the CD purposely resembles Pastorius' debut recording and the program features six Pastorius songs (including two versions apiece of "Come on, Come Over" and "Teen Town"), Joe Zawinul's "A Remark You Made," the R&B standard "The Chicken," and Bromberg's "Tears." A master at tapping his bass and equally skilled on electric and acoustic basses, Bromberg also has the ability to sound a bit like Pastorius when he wants. This excellent tribute set uses different personnel and instrumentations on each selection and shows off the many sides of Pastorius, both as a bassist and as a composer.
In his career, Brian Bromberg has recorded bop, fusion, and smooth with equal fluency and creativity on acoustic and electric basses. Choices is somewhat commercial, with funky rhythms, R&B-ish solos, and fade-outs. In general, the solos are more memorable than Bromberg's originals and grooves. While the material is mostly routine, the improvisations of Bromberg and altoist Eric Marienthal are excellent and the musicianship is impressive. But no real surprises occur, making this a lesser and generally easy listening effort by the hugely talented Brian Bromberg.
World-renowned acoustic and electric bassist Brian Bromberg hasn’t released an album in the U.S. since 2012, a fact that might not have been cause for concern if you know that at one point he released three albums in one year. Every man deserves a break. However, once you realize that this chameleon with over 20 projects in his catalog recently had reason to believe that he might never play music again, you understand the gravity of his latest acoustic jazz project, Full Circle - one he says may well be “the most important record of my career.” Like all of his work, Bromberg’s latest features a stellar cast that includes trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, saxophonists Bob Sheppard, Kirk Whalum and Doug Webb, pianists Randy Waldman,Mitch Forman and Otmaro Ruiz, and percussionist Alex Acuña. The project also finds ‘the man that refuses to sit still’ mixing styles from New Orleans funk and a legit jazz cover of Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop `Til You Get Enough” to Cubop - with a sizzling relentless swing throughout.
Wood is Brian Bromberg's debut for the A440 Music Group, and it is a very strong example of his extraordinary straight-ahead jazz skills as presented in three exciting formats. In addition to the six tracks he performs in a trio setting with drummer David Bromberg and pianist Randy Waldman, Brian Bromberg duets with Waldman on the inimitable "Days of Wine and Roses" and the beautiful tribute "Goodbye (For My Father)," which was previously released on You Know That Feeling. Two amazing solo performances – "Come Together" and "Star Spangled Banner" – add further credence to Bromberg's technical and creative virtuosity as one of the premier jazz bassists of his generation.
Compared To That is that musical happy place somewhere between contemporary/modern jazz but with an old school sensibility. Bromberg is not reinventing the musical wheel. What Brian Bromberg does so incredibly well here is expand his sound and push the music forward. Guest artists include such diverse talents as Jeff Lorber, Bela Fleck and Randy Brecker combined with a deceptively subtle swing of a walking bass line punctuated with attitude so if this release doesn't make your musical back leg shake you may want to see if your autopsy report is ready.