Grammy nominated bass maestro Brian Bromberg continues to blaze his own audacious path through the jazz kingdom on Compared To That, which will be released June 5th by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records. For his 20th solo collection of kinetic and combustible jazz of various forms, Bromberg produced, composed eight new songs, and herded a ten-piece horn section, a full orchestra string section and a prodigious collective of prominent musicians. The first track to go to radio is his swinging take on the snappy Chicago hit, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?”
It’s been a while since Bromberg recorded an album that swings so he primarily maintains a fast cadence on “Compared To That.” Although the record leans towards straight ahead acoustic jazz, Bromberg refuses to color between the lines. His visionary, multihued jazz palette swirls hard-charging swing, contemporary sheen, deep-fried funk, and touchingly beautiful balladry. Throughout the album, Bromberg’s basswork is like a master’s class with the astute musician playing acoustic, electric and piccolo (both acoustic and steel string) basses. With his piccolo basses tuned to sound like guitar, all of the lead melodies and solos throughout the collection that sound like guitar are actually piccolo bass.
An accomplished cadre lent their talents to the two days of live tracking including Alex Acuna, Gannin Arnold, Charlie Bisharat, Randy Brecker, Vinnie Colaiuta, George Duke, Bela Fleck, Mitch Forman, Larry Goldings, Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek and Tom Zink. Bromberg’s tongue-in-cheek humor was deftly deployed when it came to titling his original compositions – “Rory Lowery, Private Eye,” “If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy?,” “A Little New Old School” and “I’m Just Sayin’” are a few examples – and his flair for choosing unexpected songs to cover shines brightly on an imaginative, toe-tapping rendition of the Rick James signature hit “Give It To Me Baby.”
“One thing I feel that makes Compared To That a unique project is that it is a live jazz recording that also has a ten-piece horn section on many tracks, a full orchestra string section on two cuts, and the production of a much bigger project. Essentially, it really was a two-day live jazz recording session along with 3-1/2 months of the kind of production used on big pop records. I truly blended the best of both worlds: live acoustic jazz with the audiophile of a major production,” explained Bromberg, who previewed the album at a Sunday brunch performance at the Berks Jazz Fest in Reading, Pennsylvania this past weekend (March 25). “I went more to my jazz roots on this CD with a lot of swing and walking bass. All in all, I think it is a fun listen for a true jazz CD and I am very proud of it.” Continue reading