Brian Bromberg

Downright Upright

by Robert R. Calder

18 April 2007


My review of Bromberg’s previous (bass solo) CD for another site was less unfriendly than its review on this one, where a colleague spoke of having been put off somewhat by Bromberg’s extensive pop-jazz output. I thought the previous CD fun from an outstanding musician. Liner quotatations from Bromberg declare his immense enthusiasm for this new set of impeccably played conservative jazz-funk numbers. Presumably, he’s sincere: classy and even classic jazzmen have demonstrated musical preferences surprising, disappointing, and even shocking to aficionados. Which hasn’t interfered with enthusiasm for the same musicians’ profound achievements. This set’s emphatically not a profound achievement, however profound the superlatively gifted leader-instrumentalist’s feelings for the bag of perfectly roasted chestnuts, with among other sidemen George Duke (on piano and represented as composer) and Lee Ritenour and Kirk Whalum. When marveling yet again at Bromberg’s consistent command of his instrument, I did worry about the almost identical intros to two successive tracks with different names. He and several other people may be very happy with this, but it’s strong on the tame side and weak on the inspired.

Downright Upright


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