Berks Jazz Fest 2012: Brian Bromberg

Sunday morning, we had the Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Inn at Reading with a concert by bassist Brian Bromberg, which served at the same time as CD release party for his new CD Compared To That, due for release June 5th. After a nice brunch, Brian Bromberg and band entered the stage to play at a time which was a bit uncommon for them, but nevertheless they delivered. The band consisted of Philippe Saisse on keyboards, Chris Farr on tenor saxophone, Mark McLean on drums, plus the five piece Berks Jazz Fest horns led by saxophonist Mike Anderson, who also sponsored the concert with his Anderson Group.They kicked off the show with the title track from the new CD which featured great horn work. Brian Bromberg played mostly his vintage acoustic bass, which didn't keep him from getting funky on their rendition of Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon", followed by "I'm Just Sayin'" from the new CD which has a great walking bass line and is pure straight ahead jazz, but with a groove. For the track "A Little New Old School", he switched to his electric bass to funk things up. Next was "If Ray Brown Was A Cowboy" in a trio setting on acoustic bass, dedicated to his friend, the late Ray Brown, before the band re-assembled for "Rory Lowery, Private Eye", a jazzy uptempo track. To finish the show, he grabbed his bass that is tuned to the register of a guitar to play the lead melody, substituting his own bass part from the iPod, they played the Chicago chestnut "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" (which is going to be the first single from the new record), before they finished the show with another track from the new CD, a jazzed-up cover of Rick James' "Give It To Me Baby". This was a truly great concert by a consummate artist.