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Brian Bromberg -- "WOOD"

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Picked up this CD today, and all I can say is WOW. I knew Bromberg's work from his previous acoustic CD "It's About Time: The Acoustic Project", and spent many an hour with it transcribing three of the tunes, one of the piano solos, and one of the bass solos, which I played on fretless plank at the time. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but this one is even BETTER. The sound - both of the recording in general and of his bass in particular - is nothing short of spectacular. As is the playing:
    Imagine a fat, melodic sound with a huge robust presence that sings with a lyricism and fluidity that most mortal humans can only dream of, and you begin to get the idea. But you've got to hear it to believe it....

    Stylistically, the disc will probably have some detractors, principally among them those who prefer an "old-school" gut-like sound. Also likely to be put off are those who dislike players with absolutely monstrous chops. But the ideas on this record are always supported by the chops, not muddied by them, and even when playing some of the most virtuostic stuff even imaginable, he never once loses the focus on the sound. Unbelievable.

    Anyway, enough raving. As if you can't tell, I'm absolutely blown away by this disc. He's joined on the recording by his brother David Bromberg (drums), and Randy Waldman (piano), both of whom sparkle as well. Just wanted to give a very honest thumbs up to the recording, and a heads up those those who might not have heard of it.
    MrLenny1 and MDrost1 like this.
  2. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas

    I'll second this. I'm a big fan of the old school sound for myself, but Bromberg is awesome on this. I have it in my player here at work.

  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Good to hear that the "Old School" doesn't disapprove in your neck of the woods. I hope that trend continues.


    Not yet - as I think I mentioned, the only way I can play a cassette anymore is in my wife's car. BUT...I'm going to be building some new monitor stands in the garage this evening, and I'll make a point of firing up the old Blaupunkt then and report back afterwards.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Dude's got skills. One of the best pizzicato nontraditionalists this side of NHOP. He needs to increase his output.
  5. tummage


    Apr 23, 2002
    New Orleans, La
    I am very glad to see Brian Bromberg finally get some earplay and respect. I have been a huge fan of his for quite some time. He is equally adept on electric bass. Check out an early disc called basses loaded. I've bought it three times. I keep letting friends hear it and they don't give it back.

    Just my opinion,
  6. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Just got that album, and yes Brian got chops.
    I heard before that his action is pretty low, like bass guitar, but the sound on the CD is very good, obviously very well recorded and isolated, in my opinion a more pleasent sound than on his previous album "Acoustic Project".
  7. Thanks for the news on the Bromberg recording. At this point of time, I don't have it however, I'm a BIG fan of this master after my first introduction to him on "Hommage To Duke" Dave Grusin... Great playing and sound from Bromberg on that recording infact, I took this CD along when I purchased my recent home theatre. I got a bit of a weird look from the salesman however, put on "Satin Doll" and when we got to Bromberg's solo....wound the sucker RIGHT UP.
    I went through 4 different brand systems before I found one that wouldn't break-up during Bromberg's solo.... I bought that one!
    On the comments stated above, I 'll place an order with Border's tomorrow!


  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Just picked up this CD myself.

    The tone on all the tracks is amazing, but I love how it digs in on The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers and creates this amazing groove. It really reminds of Charles Mingus' playing on Money Jungle.

    Something about Star Spangled Banner leaves me feeling weird. He has this wonderful use of harmonics on Come Together that would have gone beautifully in Star Spangled Banner, but instead he keeps accenting the tune with lower notes, which for some weird reason, just doesn't do it to me.

    Overall, his tone is superlative. I love that dweep mwah and the slapping of the string against the wood.
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Bump. Durrll, thanks so much for recommending this.

    Virtuosity embodied. It's impossible to imagine listening this album and not learning something.

    Remind me not to play bass on the same planet as Brian Bromberg, will ya?
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Heck, I'd love nothing more that to play bass in the same room as the guy....er, uh, as long as it was in the context of a lesson. I wonder if he ever tours, and if so, who with?
  11. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    www.brianbromberg.net contains some info, along with much "soft jazz" and keening of smooth saxophones. Checking it out makes me glad that Wood is my first exposure to Mr. Bromberg. If I'd scoped the site I might well not have bought the album, which would have been my loss.

    The site also has a tease of Bromberg playing "Woody & You" with Gonzalo Rubalcalba and Dennis Chambers. Bromberg slaps the pants off his DB while the others stand by. The slapping is jaw-dropping, although not my cup of tea. (If you're looking for "unamplified sound" don't bother with this clip.) Anyway, hearing a few seconds of BB and Chambers walking and driving like monsters is right up my alley. David Bromberg plays fine on Wood but Chambers takes no prisoners.
  12. sean p

    sean p

    Mar 7, 2002
    eugene, oregon
    got this record last week and i'm damn impressed too. brian's got really spectacular ideas and the chops to play 'em. i knew he was a chopsy player, but i didn't expect it to come out so musical. also, i am really impressed with his time. whether playing solo or with the trio, walking or wanking, the time feel is there, which is more than i can say for other 'pyrotechnical' bassists.

    let's face it, though - the liner notes must be downright embarassing. :) his instrument is noted as 'wood bass.'

    and "...his reputation as the most innovative and prolific bassist in contemporary jazz."

    and "although he recorded [the star spangled banner] for this album long before tragedy struck our nation on september 11th, 2001, his presentation is genuine and passionate, as if chiming with the voices of unity echoing across america today."

    brother. :) helluva record, though.

    sean p
  13. I've heard stuff from Bromberg's Acoustic Project and listened to some teasers from Wood. You've got to respect this guy's chops, but it's mostly not my cup. I consider much of the stuff a curiosity by a 'freak of nature' playing much too self indulgently for my tastes. Bass geeks and cognoscenti should appreciate it.
    I thought my jaw dropped from his slapping on Woodyn' You, but it turned out to be a yawn.
  14. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    The guitarist Joe Morris was recently in JazzTimes to the effect that, "You can either be an innovator or you can be a virtuoso."

    I'm not sure I agree. There are some times in jazz when innovation and virtuosity go hand-in-hand -- Bird, Trane, Dizzy, Chick. On the other hand, there are certainly jazz innovators whose music did not focus on virtuosoity -- Miles, Wes, Louis, Coleman Hawkins. (Somebody's gonna chop my head of for that. Oh well -- it's not much use anyway.)

    A steady diet of virtuosity makes me numb. A dose does me good once in a while. Wood is not in heavy rotation around here but it has not been banished to the bunch under the printer-stand either.
  15. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Word. I bring it out every once in awhile when I want to hear THAT SOUND, and I may transcribe one or two things off of the disc. This is off topic, but there are many SOUNDS that I'd like to be able to get on THE BASS. Something akin to Bromberg's sound is one of them. Something akin to McBride's is another. Something akin to Charlie Haden's is yet another. It's really fun trying to figure out how to mimic these (and other) various tones and articulation habits while playing the same bass with the same fingers.
  16. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    If you transcribe his solo "All Blues", tell us about it. Listening to his do that makes my brain hurt...

    Yeah, it's not on the daily playlist here either, but I play it for every bass player who passes through my house.
  17. In regard to MJE addiction to "ALL BLUES" I totally agree with your comments. I have had the "WOOD" CD about a month now and, have it constantly going when I'm at home and in my Van going to Gigs and even play it in the breaks.
    I also think his version of "Speak Low is GREAT and have great fun doing that track with my Trio.:p
  18. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I totally agree, Brian Bromberg is amazing, he makes me want to play upright again(I haven't seriously studied on upright for about a year)his playing is incredible and his sound is so rich and clean...good stuff.
  19. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    How could I have waited this long to get this CD?!? SHeeeeeeeeeeeeeit! Amazing!

    Of the many high point for me was his solo on "The Days of Wine and Roses", you can practically hear him singing the melody in his head! Totally musically relevant, regardless of the bass in his hands.
  20. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    They happened to put this on the listening station at the local Tower Records right after Chris first posted this. I wasn't a big Bromberg fan (even though I knew he was a Monster) due to his recent "Smooth Jazz" output (although I thought he was amazing on my "Lee Ritenour & Friends: Live from Coconut Grove" DVD).

    After listening for a couple of minutes I had to have it...but they were sold out. :bawl:
    By the next time they had it in stock his "Jaco" CD had also come out so I bought them both.

    His playing is both beautiful and stunning.