March 22, 2012

Brian Bromberg & Friends plus the Berks Horns – CD release show for Compared to That at the 2012 Berks Jazz Fest

By Val Vaccaro

On Sunday, March 25th, at the 2012 Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest, there will be a wonderful show Brian Bromberg & Friends (including a buffet brunch) at the Inn at Reading ballroom to introduce the release of Bromberg’s new CD Compared to That. Brian Bromberg has to be one of the most brilliant and refreshing jazz musicians today, with a reputation for successfully building bridges between smooth, contemporary, and traditional jazz.

The title to Brian Bromberg’s new CD Compared to That is perhaps a clever homage to the funky soul-jazz protest song “Compared to What” composed by Gene McDaniels which became a popular hit in 1969 by the legendary jazz pianist and vocalist Les McCann with saxophonist Eddie Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey.

For the new CD Compared to That, Brian Bromberg wrote on his website: “This CD is the equivalent of throwing my CD’s Downright Upright, It Is What It Is, and a big handful of straight ahead jazz into a blender! (There are a) lot of up tempo hi energy tunes featuring a ten piece horn section… (with) George Duke, Jeff Lorber, Vinnie Colaiuta, Randy Brecker, Mitch Forman etc… It is primarily acoustic bass and acoustic straight ahead jazz and I must admit is tons of fun (to record)!

Brian Bromberg’s enjoyable, fun-loving, popular Downright Upright CD (2007) featured classic 60’s funky, soul-jazz standards such as “Canteloupe Island” (Herbie Hancock), “Cold Duck Time” (Eddie Harris and Les McCann) and “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” (Joe Zawinul). Bromberg’s 2009 CD It Is What It Is (which was on the 2009 Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart) received rave reviews for his extraordinary playing and production, and included surprising cover tunes such as the B52’s “Love Shack” and the “Sanford and Son Theme” (from the TV show), as well as a multitude of great original songs composed by Bromberg.

The 2012 Berks Jazz Fest show will include the resplendent bass playing of Brian Bromberg, with songwriter, producer, and keyboardist extraordinaire Philippe Saisse, and drummer Mark Mclean plus the Berks Horns - Mike Anderson on alto saxophone, Rob Diener on trumpet, and John Loos on trombone - with special guests Chris Farr and Mike Eben on tenor saxophones (with Chris Farr doing the lead work), and Bob Stoyko also on trumpet.

Jazz fans who haven’t yet seen a show with the Grammy-nominated bassist Brian Bromberg will be delighted and impressed to hear one of the most talented and diverse bass players around (upright acoustic and electric) with his incredible technique and unique song interpretations. Bromberg also is one of only a handful of guitar and bass players who have mastered a special tapping technique (associated with guitarist Stanley Jordan), which produces sounds like two or three basses playing at once during powerfully improvised solos. Also, as a testament to his talent, in 2011, Bromberg had the opportunity to fulfill a long-time dream of designing a line of signature basses - for Carvin Guitars in San Diego.

Before starting his own solo recording career in 1986, Brian Bromberg worked with many notable jazz musicians including Stan Getz, Horace Silver, Monty Alexander, Dizzy Gillespie, Richie Cole, Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, and Freddie Hubbard. Since then, Bromberg has also collaborated with many well-known contemporary and smooth jazz artists such as Jeff Lorber, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Gerald Albright, George Duke and Patrice Rushen, among others.

Also, multi-talented bassist Brian Bromberg plans to bring his amazing interpretive style to two new diverse CDs to be released in the U.S. (they were originally released in Japan a few years ago). One new Brian Bromberg CD is a tribute to Brazilian jazz guitarist Antonio Carlos Jobim called In the Spirit of Jobim recorded with a full orchestra, which features half Jobim compositions, and half original songs written by Bromberg in the style of Brazilian jazz. The other CD Bromberg plays Hendrix is a tribute to rock legend guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Bromberg’s Jobim tribute CD should be beautiful; his Hendrix tribute CD should be a blast!

Bassist Brian Bromberg also has produced a special EP which will be available at the 2012 Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest.

For concert tickets at the 2012 Boscov’s Berks Jazz Fest, see

For more information on Brian Bromberg and other artists in the show such as Philippe Saisse, please visit and

Posted by Peter Böhi at March 22, 2012 3:56 PM