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Brian Bromberg: Wood

Bassist Brian Bromberg is blessed with that uncommon combination of superb technique, astounding versatility and heartfelt lyricism, and he brings his remarkable facility to bear on a pair of recent releases, Wood and Jaco.

On the straightahead recording Wood, Bromberg places the emphasis on the upright bass-specifically a rich-toned, 18th-century instrument built in Italy. His brother, drummer David Bromberg, and pianist Randy Waldman back him, and together they perform a collection of standards and one original in trio, duo and solo configurations. Waldman’s fingers glide across the keys on the trio’s upbeat take on Herbie Hancock’s “Dolphin Dance,” and they give Cole Porter’s “I Love You” a lively swing. Bromberg revisits his composition “Goodbye (For My Father),” a track from his 1997 album, You Know That Feeling; here it is a performed as a duet with Waldman, and together they create an eloquent, deeply touching elegy to Bromberg’s late father. On two of the solo performances, the Beatles’ “Come Together” and “Star-Spangled Banner,” Bromberg combines tapping technique with unusual approaches to the melody to produce unique readings of two well-known songs.

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