Brian Bromberg

Brian Bromberg

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On his self-titled album for Nova, bassist Brian Bromberg employs a who's who of smooth jazz and fusion talent for a varied outing that runs the gamut. Kenny Rankin appears on the vocal version of the hit "Her Eyes, Her Heart," -- its instrumental is also included -- while guitarist Lee Ritenour, keyboard and programming whiz Jeff Lorber, and Kirk Whalum trade places with the likes of jazz harmonica boss Toots Thielemans and saxophone master Ernie Watts, who get in the groove too. Ivan Lins lends his vocal talents to a few numbers as well. In some ways, this is a very schizophrenic recording, though it works well. There are groovers like the opener "Summer Afternoon," which walks the jazz-funk tightrope, smooth cuts like the aforementioned, "My Brother," and "Intimadagé," and knotty fusion workouts such as "Tunnel Vision," and "Sedona," and even big groovers like "Yo!," with Thielemans, and Bob Boykin's "Bern City." What makes the album hold together so beautifully is sequencing. It's a big, glossy production handled by Bromberg's brother David (no relation to the American roots music master), but gives listeners a bit of everything. [Artistry Music re-released the CD in 2005.]

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