Sherman Oaks, CA: 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?
Its 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 masters 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. Brombergs tongue-in-cheek humor was deftly deployed when it came to titling his original compositionsRory Lowery, Private Eye, If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy?, A Little New Old School and Im 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.
On July 3rd, Bromberg will release a couple more inspired recording projects: Bromberg Plays Hendrix, a tribute to iconic guitarist Jimi Hendrix previously released in Japan that was made without any guitars, again playing the piccolo bass to the tune of a guitar, and In The Spirit of Jobim, which pays homage to Antonio Carlos Jobim on a collection of tunes made famous by the fabled Brazilian and original songs penned by the bassist emulating Jobims style.
A native of Tucson, Arizona who recorded and mixed Compared To That while comfortably ensconced in his suburban Los Angeles home studio, Bromberg is respected as a musician with integrity who is gifted with a unique ability to make music at a scholarly level accessible and digestible to the mainstream masses. He landed his breakthrough professional gig at age 18 when tapped to tour for nearly a year playing in legendary jazz saxophonist Stan Getzs band. Bromberg released his solo debut, A New Day, in 1986. To date, he has scored handfuls of top 10 hits and a pair of #1 singles as a soloist and as a writer and producer for other artists. Recognized as an innovator, he has played acoustic and electric bass on recordings and performances with a luminous encyclopedic list of musicians that spans the spectrum of jazz and popular music ranging from Dizzy Gillespie , Sarah Vaughn, Herbie Hancock, Dave Grusin and Nancy Wilson to Sting, Elvis Costello, and Steven Tyler, and from Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Dianna Krall, Andrea Bocelli and David Foster to George Benson, Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Kenny G, Chris Botti, Boney James and Dave Koz. He also played on many major motion picture soundtracks such as The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Preachers Wife, Fat Albert and Hope Floats.