In record stores today is a fresh version of Brian Bromberg’s Choices album, which was revisited by the master bass player and producer. Originally released last year, the artist remixed half of the record and the entire disc was remastered. One track was removed and replaced with the radio hit, “Relentless,” a duet with sax star Richard Elliot that previously was only released on the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards compilation CD. Featuring Bromberg’s nifty fret work on the piccolo bass, which sounds like a guitar, the title track of Choices is one of the hottest songs now collecting adds at radio.
Smooth jazz is often criticized as being light-weight, but not Bromberg’s efforts in the genre. His hooks are memorable and infectious yet the writing is sophisticated and substantive, and the productions are intricately textured. On Choices, which includes guest turns by Jeff Lorber, Brian Culbertson, David Benoit and Eric Marienthal, soulful R&B, funk, jazz, pop, and African rhythmscapes serve as the backdrop for Bromberg’s melodies. No guitars were used on the album, although you’ll swear otherwise. While primarily an instrumental album, Bromberg’s intention was for Choices to unfold like a collection of short stories.
Bromberg is a remarkable musician, one of the few masters of both the electric and acoustic bass. He’s a rare artist who has garnered respect for releasing accomplished music in both the traditional jazz and more commercial contemporary jazz genres.
In the midst of a prolific creative period, Bromberg, a partner in the new Artistry Music record label that now releases his music, has a full-slate of current projects that enable him to draw upon his vast experience. In addition to Choices, he’s releasing and reissuing four albums this year. Metal is a new rock fusion collection that was released in late February. Last month, It’s About Time, a traditional jazz record originally released in 1991, was reissued after being remixed and remastered. This summer, Bromberg’s 1993 self-titled contemporary jazz album, featuring Lorber, Lee Ritenour, Kirk Whalum and Toots Thielemans, will be reissued. Scheduled for release early next year, Bromberg has begun recording Wood II, the sequel to 2002’s critically acclaimed traditional jazz CD, Wood.
This spring and summer, Bromberg is touring worldwide with contemporary jazz greats Ritenour, Patrice Rushen, Ernie Watts, and Alex Acuna. Recently Bromberg earned his first gold record for production work he did on Chris Botti’s When I Fall In Love album; this year he’s writing and producing songs for a number of other artists. Collaborating with Dean Guitars, he designed an innovative line of basses, B², which will be in stores this summer.
Earlier this year, Bromberg partnered with soul singer-songwriter Rahsaan Patterson, their long-time manager Lucille Hunt and veteran marketing executive Denny Stilwell to launch Artistry Music. Based in Los Angeles, the label is distributed in the United States by Ryko Distribution.