Bassist Brian Bromberg hits the ground running right away with a new release that sure to please a lot of fans. He brings in a few friends that take Compared To That
into a lot of directions. The title track is a snappy little number that shows off the talents of this bass man along with a fine performance of saxist Gary Meek. They don’t stop there and keep the momentum going on “Rory Lowery, Private Eye.” The piano laced solo here gives it a big band feel as it continues on then handing off to Brombergs bass and Meeks sax. They never come up for air, and continue on to a climactic ending. “If Ray Brown Was a Cowboy” is a funny title and slows down the pace somewhat. Brian’s “walking bass” is prevalent along with some “running keys” of George Duke. I like the straight ahead feel this one gives me.
My favorite here has to be the fourth track featuring the banjo of Bela Fleck. “Hayride” begins simply enough as the two musicians volley simple phrases back and forth. As the “ride” continues, they turn it up a notch just before some great solo work by both musicians. Then the “overture” kicks in and this one turns into a real barn burner. It is a showcase for each one with both multi layered phrasing as well as a continuance back to simple solo work as well. Just when you think it’s over, watch out, you’re not finished riding yet! Bromberg comes back with one right in your face called “A Little New Old School.” There’s a lot of energy here as Randy Brecker shines on trumpet and Jeff Lorber on keys. It has a real live feel to it as you go from part to part. They leave the best for last as Brian’s bass shows off some great technique and they round it up once more to take it to a happy ending. He slows it down considerably on the introspective “Forgiveness” before heading to a lounge felt rendition of Chicago’s classic hit, “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is.”
“I’m Just Sayin’” has a punchy presence to it, with its driving back bass and a fully charged horn section. Add a little Tom Zink on piano, and you have a pretty good one again. Brian finishes out the project with “Give It To Me Baby“ as he takes the lead in this Rick James classic. The horns are a great back up as they take front center at times while allowing Bromberg to shine on bass once more. A fun one to end with.
I wasn’t real familiar with Brian’s works and really enjoyed getting to listen to this new CD called Compared To That. He branches out into a lot of areas that will keep the audiences entertained while showing off his tremendous ability. I like what he’s done here and look forward to comparing this one to previous releases. I’ll still be able to say Compared To Thatis pretty good!