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4.4 out of 5 stars
Compared to That
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
They'll never play this one in an elevator unless Otis invents one with swinging doors. Brian Bromberg hasn't made an album in awhile now that swings so hard, swings so audaciously and quite so sweet. For this, his 20th solo collection, he has assembled a ten piece horn section that plays tight, play bright and struts it. The strings provide the canvas for Bromberg to paint on, but believe me, he doesn't just color outside the lines, he gets some on the walls. It's hard charging, straight ahead, flammable swing, but with a mix of hues, flavors and other delectable sensual pleasures from city-fied to southern fried and liberally sprinkled with funk and soulful balladry.

As you listen to this album, one thing becomes clear. Bromberg's bass work is somewhere way north of marvelous. And, where did he find a guitar player that could keep up? Well, he didn't. Everywhere you `think' you're hearing a guitar, that's Bromberg playing a piccolo bass tuned to sound like a guitar. He plays both acoustic and electric basses and acoustic and steel string piccolo. It makes for great solo and melody translations.

To pull this swinging sensation off, it took a special group of musicians 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 among them, and they cut the album live in the studio over a two day period.

For the project, which is only the first offering from Bromberg this summer, he composed 8 new tunes. The two cover tunes are great, and diverse; Chicago's "Does Anybody Ever Really Know What Time It Is" is the first radio release and is done here in a snappy, snazzy fashion. The other is Funk Master, Rick James' signature tune, "Give It To Me Baby" which Bromberg turns into a driving and imaginative swing number with a great walking bass line underneath the melody of the piccolo bass. Nice treatment and Bromberg delivers a bass master class with this one and a good portion of the rest of the album.

A few of the other tunes are fun in multiple ways. There are tongue in cheek titles and musical humor throughout; "Rory Lowery, Private Eye", "If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy", "A Little New Old School", and "I'm Just Sayin'" are just a few of the high points. But it is the sound and the delivery that make the album stand out. It's a unique blend of what is essentially a live, acoustic jazz ensemble with pop album production.

The Dirty Lowdown
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I have seen Brian Bromberg play live on several occasions and he is really an excellent, vibrant, master bass player. I have also listened to all his CDs. The man is really good at what he is doing. Now, and as you probably know, every musician that has recorded an excellent, successful, top of the line music, is in risk of experiencing an unfair comparison of his best works with subsequent works. His CD "It Is What It Is" was so good, and set such a high standard, that we are tempted to think that anything he records afterwards will be below expectations. Same phenomenon happened to Strunz & Farah after they recorded "Americas" and "Heat Of The Sun" . It seems that everything they recorded afterwards was not as good as previous works. That is far from reality. These musicians continue to impress us with outstanding music.This CD has its own merits and one should evaluate them individually. Anyway, in the event you have never listened to BB and if you really want to experience bass playing at his best consider: "In The Spirit Of Jobin" and "It Is What It Is" ...you will not be disappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
For lovers of bass players you must listen to this cd. From straight ahead jazz to fusion- funky, and from stand-up bass to various other type bass guitars this man can jam. It sounds better every time I listen to it, I hear more every time in the horns, the drummer, piano just a fantastic collection of music from Mr. Bromberg !!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Brian Bromberg continues to demonstrate his skills on this recording. As stated on the CD, no guitars were used for this recording, but there are tunes where you would find that hard to believe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
A great project from these master musicians. They are presenting us a rare treat to hear them just get together and make the sounds come alive with depth, precision, heart, soul and joy. Listen to the previews and know that all the songs present musical listening delight. A must have for Brian Bromberg fans. Once again, he gives us great music.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Jazzy, funky, and eclectic set from the bass master and his friends. I listened to this CD three times the first day I got it and it gets better with every listen. My favorite tunes are "Compared To That", "If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy", "Hayride" (w/Bela Fleck), and a brilliant take on the Chicago classic "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?". The creativity and musicianship are top-notch ....... treat yourself to this CD!
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on April 13, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Beyond excellent. If I could give 6 stars I would. I would say one of Brian's best but seems all of his works are the best. I Love this record
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on February 23, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is good driving / top down music. There is a lot of energy and excitement expressed in this music.
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on February 12, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Brian Bromberg is truly a great musician, ranking with the best of the best. His tone, funkyness, dynamics, and emotion are inspirational. There are several great upright bass players, and a bunch of great electric players, but Brian stands alone when it comes to a$$ kicking on both instruments. No one is better. The music is great, and every song is enjoyable.
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on October 17, 2013
Format: MP3 Music
Bromberg's earlier releases, Wood and Wood II were more along the lines of what a jazz fan would consider jazz. This applies to the rock/pop covers he included as well. Bromberg's talent on the double bass was evident and the stripped down arrangements let his playing stand out. Those releases made me a fan but evrything since then has been mass-market schlock.
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