Brian Bromberg (born December 5, 1960) is an American jazz bassist and record producer who performs on both electric and acoustic instruments. Though he tends to gravitate towards the genre of smooth jazz, Bromberg has released some straight-ahead jazz records in which he performs with a trio, and has even ventured into more rock-oriented jazz fusion territory as of late. His innovative and technically demanding style of playing extends to both electric and upright bass. On his acoustic bass albums, Bromberg performs jazzy interpretations of various pop and rock staples from the 1960s and '70s completely solo. Regarding his work with electric bass, Bromberg, among other bassists, helped popularize the piccolo bass, or bass with each string tuned an octave up, by releasing several albums in which he plays both the bass line and melody. For instance, upon first listen many will be surprised to learn that, although soaring guitar can be heard throughout the album, Bromberg's 2005 release Metal contains only Bromberg on two overdubbed basses, one of which is heavily effects-laden to make it sound like an electric guitar.
|Birth name||Brian Bromberg|
|Born||December 5, 1960|
|Origin||Tucson, Arizona, U.S.|
|Genres||Straight-ahead jazz, jazz fusion, smooth jazz, instrumental rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, record producer|
|Instruments||Double bass, electric bass, electric upright bass|
|Associated acts||Stan Getz|
Bromberg was born on December 5, 1960, in Tucson, Arizona. His father and brother, David, who both played drums, influenced him to take up the instrument himself. At the age of 13, he began seriously pursuing a career as a drummer. However, at around the same time, the leader of his school orchestra steered him towards the upright bass. From then on, he committed to stick to a strict practice regimen and even "tested out of high school early" because of the rigorous schedule he set for himself. Still, plucking away in his basement was only half of the plan. It was integral for Bromberg to gain experience playing in live situations. Thus, he accepted virtually every gig he could get. It was somewhat common for Bromberg to play "five to seven nights a week with several different bands." In 1979, Marc Johnson, the bassist working for the jazz pianist Bill Evans, heard Bromberg's playing. Johnson later suggested Bromberg to saxophonist Stan Getz, who was in search of a new bass player. Getz took the suggestion seriously, and auditioned Bromberg soon thereafter. Within only six years of picking up the bass, Bromberg found himself at the age of 19 touring internationally with Getz. Other than the thrill of playing with a world-class tenor saxophonist, more opportunities began to reveal themselves to the young bass player, who would go on to work with many big names in the music business and eventually become a producer of various artists in his genre.
In March 2011, Brian partnered with Carvin Guitars to produce a signature model electric bass. The B24 and B25 were based on his own design, which was previously manufactured by Peavey and Dean. In 2014, Carvin rebranded to Kiesel for most new instruments, and the Brian Bromberg model followed suit in 2015.
Releases as a solo artistEdit
Bromberg's first several albums were in the smooth jazz genre. He began with two records that caught smooth jazz radio's attention: A New Day in 1986 and Basses Loaded in 1988. His third album, Magic Rain (1989) "became the most played album on radio during the first week of its release". Bromberg's fourth record, BASSically Speaking, which is his oldest material re-mastered with some new additions, reached the top 5 on the radio charts and No. 7 on the Billboard sales charts.
With solid following among smooth jazz fans, he put out a straight ahead jazz album, It's About Time, The Acoustic Project. This album reached number four on the mainstream jazz charts in 1991. Bromberg recorded in a trio with Freddie Hubbard and Ernie Watts. After It's About Time, The Acoustic Project he returned to smooth jazz. The label that released Brian Bromberg (1993) went out of business the week of its release.
In 1996, after a short break from recording to design basses for Peavey and touring as a clinician, Bromberg signed with Zebra Records. In February 1998, he released You Know That Feeling, which as recorded with Rick Braun, Joe Sample, Jeff Lorber, and Everette Harp. The album became Bromberg's most successful, later to be topped by Wood, and his first smooth jazz number one record of his career. You Know That Feeling had three singles in a row that each went to number three on the charts. It spent seventeen consecutive months on the charts, eight months in the top ten, nearly six months in the top five. Bromberg's album was the fifth most-played album from the top 100 albums of the year in smooth jazz. Songs from You Know That Feeling are still regularly played in smooth jazz stations across America. Additionally, in 2003, Bromberg made a record simply titled Jaco in which he performs many of Jaco Pastorius's notable songs.
After You Know That Feeling, Bromberg's albums deviated from his smooth jazz roots. Wood (2002), produced by a Japanese label, was recorded with pianist Randy Waldman and brother David Bromberg on drums. Wood contains solo jazz versions of "Carry on My Wayward Son" by Kansas and "Let 'Em In" by Paul McCartney. In addition to the solo pieces, Wood and Wood 2 (with drummer Vinnie Colaiuta replacing David Bromberg) contain interpretations of music by Wayne Shorter and Woody Herman. On an even sharper turn from his smooth jazz past, Bromberg released Metal (2005) with drummer Joel Taylor.
As a record producer, Bromberg has produced eight top-ten hits, seven top-five hits, and two number-one hits. Apart from his 300-year-old double bass, he uses Dean, Bob Mick, Mick Donner and Peavey basses with Epifani amplification. He also owns a signature edition Carvin bass.
- A New Day (1986)
- Basses Loaded (1988)
- Magic Rain (1989)
- BASSically Speaking (1990)
- It's About Time: The Acoustic Project (1991)
- Brian Bromberg (1993)
- You Know That Feeling (1997)
- Wood (2002)
- Jaco (2002)
- Brombo! Jb Project (2003)
- Choices (2004)
- Bass Freak Out (2004)
- Metal (2005)
- Wood II (2006)
- Downright Upright (2007)
- Hands (2009)
- It Is What It Is (2009)
- Bromberg Plays Hendrix (2010)
- Compared To That (2012)
- In the Spirit of Jobim (2012)
- Full Circle (2016)
- Thicker Than Water (2018)
- "Brian Bromberg - Bio". www.brianbromberg.net.
- "Home - Abstract Logix". Abstract Logix. Archived from the original on 2007-04-06. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- Jazz Spotlight featuring Brian Bromberg - Wood II on Artistry Music @ jazzreview.com Archived October 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- Brian Bromberg Archived November 25, 2006, at the Wayback Machine at All About Jazz.