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Brian Bromberg: Woodworking

Brian Bromberg and his 300 year old bass

On Wood II, a sequel to his acoustic bass manifesto from 2002, Brian Bromberg again unleashes his commanding chops on a deep-toned, 300-year-old Italian Matteo Guersam upright. “I’ve had that same bass since I was 16,” says the former sideman to Stan Getz, Monty Alexander, Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Gerry Mulligan and a host of other jazz greats. “It’s been a tremendous blessing in my life. There’s some real magic in that bass, and it’s sounding better now than ever.”

Wood II is Bromberg’s latest release on the Artistry label, which he co-owns. Accompanied by West Coast colleagues pianist Randy Waldman and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Bromberg displays his astounding facility on classic jazz fare like Cedar Walton’s “Bolivia,” Wayne Shorter’s “Witch Hunt,” Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” (cleverly rearranged as a New Orleans second-line groover complete with Pops Foster-style bass slapping) and the standard “I’ll Remember April,” which the trio takes at a ridiculously blazing tempo. As Bromberg notes of that all-out burner, “You gotta have one tune on the record where everybody can go nuts, and this was it.”

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