Berks Jazz Fest 2008: Brian Bromberg

Berks08_Bromberg.jpgThe Berks Jazz Fest 2008 started Friday evening with a concert by bassist Brian Bromberg which was held in the intimate Jazz Base, the jazz club at the Sheraton in Reading. I attended the first of two sets. Brian was in a great mood and ready to play, he had his array of basses with him and delivered a broad range of songs, among them Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" which appeared on his latest album Downright Upright, followed by smooth jazz tracks from his release Desire featuring saxophonist Gary Meek, another highlight was a tune from his Japan-only release In Spirit Of Jobim, an album done with a full orchestra that still awaits its release in the US. The other band members were Tom Zinc on keyboards, Joel Taylor on drums, Larry Antonino on bass (which made sense because Brian Bromberg focussed on soloing with higher tuned bass instruments). Speaking of instruments, Brian Bromberg played his 300 year old acoustic bass, a semi-acoustic piccolo bass guitar, and several electric basses, displaying stunning artistry with his double-tapping technique and spirited soloing. The band was in fine form yielding a top-notch concert and a worthy opener of the festival.