Sherman Oaks, CA: It’s no ordinary summer for bassist Brian Bromberg, who yesterday released his second and third albums this summer via Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records. “Bromberg Plays Hendrix” and “In The Spirit Of Jobim” pay tribute to music icons Jimi Hendrix and Antonio Carlos Jobim respectively and arrive six weeks after the release of the bassist’s critically acclaimed chart-topper “Compared To That” as well as the launch of his pioneering online radio station for bassists, Bass on the Broadband. The immense diversity offered in the trio of new recordings impresses through content and technique while achieving successes in all shades of jazz.
The audacious “Bromberg Plays Hendrix” surprises in that the collection saluting the rock/blues guitarist was made without a single guitar. Accompanied only by monster drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Bromberg plays all the lead guitar solos and melodies on piccolo, fretless, electric and acoustic basses in what becomes an astonishing showcase for the musician’s masterful and imaginative skills. Bromberg produced the record comprised of ten of Hendrix’s signature hits including “Fire,” “Manic Depression,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “All Along The Watchtower,” “Foxey Lady,” “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze.” The concept for the album was suggested by two different record executives from two different cultures two years apart. It turned out to be far more challenging than Bromberg anticipated.
“Hendrix didn’t just sing melodies; he spoke to you. He was a true genius and a true American icon. It was monumentally challenging and it took a while to figure out how to capture his delivery and distill the melodies from his vocals,” explains Bromberg.
Venturing on an entirely different path, “In The Spirit Of Jobim” offers fresh versions of five of the seminal Brazilian music figure’s songs alongside seven Bromberg-penned originals that emulate Jobim’s breezy melodies and infectious rhythmic style. Bromberg handled production duties while surrounding himself with Brazilian musicians and The Rising Sun Orchestra in order to maintain authenticity.
“I love Brazilian music and it’s a blast to play live. The music is so positive and energetic. The songs are simple and melodic. It’s just beautiful,” says Bromberg.
Initially released in Asian territories, Bromberg recut, remixed and remastered “Bromberg Plays Hendrix” and “In The Spirit Of Jobim” using his signature line of Carvin basses.
Released June 5th, “Compared To That” topped JazzWeek’s traditional jazz album chart and spawned the top 5 contemporary jazz single, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” The collection of improvisational contemporary and straight-ahead jazz recorded live followed by several months of production work features Bromberg dispensing walking bass lines that swing backed by an accomplished supporting cast starring Colaiuta, Alex Acuña, Gannin Arnold, Charlie Bisharat, Randy Brecker, George Duke, Bela Fleck, Mitch Forman, Larry Goldings, Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek and Tom Zink.
Bass on the Broadband is the first outlet in the world exclusively devoted to playing music and video clips from bassists in all music genres. It officially debuted in June.
Next month, Bromberg is expected to embark upon an East Coast promotional tour with cities and dates soon to be announced.
Below is a sampling of the “Bromberg Plays Hendrix” and “In The Spirit Of Jobim” reviews:
“Now we’re talkin’ insane talent. Picture this: Covering a bunch of Jimi Hendrix classics with only a bass and drums, no guitar. All of the wild and passionate riffs, chords, and fire, all of the innovative phrasing, all of the energy…produced on bass. That insanely talented bassist? Brian Bromberg…From the frenetic lead track ‘Fire’ to ‘Foxy Lady’ to ‘Purple Haze’ and everywhere in between, Bromberg fearlessly takes on the undisputed rock/blues guitar icon of icons and delivers in a manner that surely would have made the colorful guitarist proud and will leave listeners wide-eyed and awestruck.” –-The Smooth Jazz Ride
“When one thinks of the music of Jimi Hendrix, bass is not exactly what comes to mind, but you know, sometimes genius is found in the oddest of pairings. Brian Bromberg has achieved such genius on his new album, ‘Bromberg Plays Hendrix’. What’s most notable here is the fact that there is no guitar on this album, just Bromberg playing electric, acoustic, and piccolo basses, accompanied by powerhouse drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Bromberg’s piccolo bass lines on this album are so phenomenal that you’d swear it was a lead guitar. Not to be overshadowed, his fat, grooving ‘traditional’ bass lines rock steady throughout, breathing new life into each piece.” —Bass Players United
“Virtuoso bassist Brian Bromberg delivers a beautiful recording of the great music of Brazil…Brian Bromberg honors this music with a stellar recording that gets my highest recommendation. He is truly a master bassist and musical tour de force.” –-The Entertainment Bank
“Not only are we talking prolific, the feel and attention he gave this particular material shows the depth of his creativity and desire to do Jobim justice…On this CD, he delivers flawlessly on Jobim’s original pearls and caresses them as if they were his own.” –-The Smooth Jazz Ride