With the top bassist Brian Bromberg you never know exactly in which direction his next work will tend. Whether smooth jazz, rock fusion, Bossa nova or contemporary jazz, one thing is certain in any case: Brian Bromberg stands for outstanding quality. His new album Thicker Than Water (2018) makes it easy to love.

The album features Najee, Everette Harp, Gary Meek, Brandon Fields (tenor sax), George Duke (electric piano), Randy Brecker (trumpet), Paul Jackson Jr. (rhythm guitar), Brian Simpson (keyboards), Marion Meadows (soprano sax),   and many more illustrious artists.

The album starts with the provocative title Is That the Best You Can Do?  When Brian stretches over the bass strings of his Kiesel B2 4 and B2 5 bass guitars the impression of a virtuoso bass solo album is condensed, but then evaporates due to the strong use of wind instruments performed by Lee Thornburg (trumpet), Doug Webb (saxes) and Nick Lane (trombone). You can be assured Brian engaged the best musicians for the best recordings, no matter the cost answering the initial question with an astounding Yes.

Minneapolis, 1987 is Brian's homage to the sound of twin cities' music scene with icons like Prince, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis or Morris Day. The term Thicker Than Water is often used in connection with blood and means nothing else than the relationship aspects are the deciding factor in the choice. In concrete Zach Bromberg is Brian's nephew and the groove master and author of the tune.

The Coupe De Ville is the classic Cadillac car that has been part or main subject of many music films. The musical realization emphasizes the luxurious full-volume design, whereby Brian takes over the guitar part with his piccolo bass. In the horn arrangement, in which Najee plays the leading role, are musical echoes of James Bond films.

With Changes Brian switches the style to a more melodic representation with romantic touches. The piccolo bass again takes on the function of the melody carrier. On Trials and Tribulations the horn section is enhanced by the string section of The Rising Sun Orchestra. It is obvious that the song will be the most powerful of the whole album. Brian brings the electric bass to life which gives the song a strong rocking flavor. Goose bumps alarm!

The strings of Brian's upright bass swing in a warm tone introducing to It's Called Life. A song Brian has dedicated to his mom who died before Brian has completed this song with a high emotional character. On Uh-Huh Brian unites Randy Brecker and George Duke in a funky team with pronounced jazzy tendencies.

On Your Eyes Brian brings soprano saxophonist Marion Meadows on board, which together with the String Orchestra promises an excursion to shallow shores. Land of the Rising Sun is a popular Western name for Japan. The Asian character of this song is effectually emphasized by June Kuramoto of the group Hiroshima on koto, a 13-string zither or harp like instrument, and Mark Hollingsworth on the bamboo flute.

The final hymn A Familia presents Brian again on upright bass, the instrument that best reflects Brian's playful talent with its enormous range of expression.

Brian Bromberg opens with his new album Thicker Than Water the attentive listener the artistic field of bass in a comprehensive spectrum in which it is rarely heard. With his pronounced tendency to melodious themes, it is easy to follow his guiding principle.






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Album Information

Title: Thicker Than Water
Artist: Brian Bromberg
Year: 2018
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Mack Avenue Records

1 Is That the Best You Can Do? 5:35
2 Minneapolis, 1987 5:59
3 Thicker Than Water 6:32
4 Coupe de Ville (Intro) 1:26
5 Coupe De Ville 6:05
6 Changes 3:27
7 Trials and Tribulations 7:46
8 It's Called Life (Intro) 2:11
9 It's Called Life (For Mom) 5:59
10 Uh-Huh 7:06
11 Your Eyes 5:58
12 Land of the Rising Sun 6:34
13 A Familia 2:10

Further Reviews:

Bromberg Plays Hendrix

In The Spirit Of Jobim

Compared To That

It Is What It Is