Brian Bromberg, “Uh-Huh,” from Thicker Than Water
Brian Bromberg’s career started with momentous lift-off. At just 19 years old, he became the touring bassist for saxophone icon Stan Getz — an impressive feat on its own, but even more mind-blowing once you consider that Bromberg had been playing bass for only six years at that point. Getz, it turned out, had fantastic foresight, because Bromberg’s career hasn’t decelerated a bit. As a sideman, the bassist has played with jazz giants like Freddie Hubbard and Ernie Watts, and as a solo artist, he’s piloted albums to the top of the Billboard charts.
His new CD, Thicker Than Water, is a 13-track romp through shifting grooves and percolating beats (some courtesy of Bromberg’s beatmaking nephew, Zach). It’s also an all-star affair, featuring some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz like Najee, Everette Harp, Randy Brecker and Gary Meek. The standout track “Uh-Huh” is a relaxed yet hard-nosed funk tune that underscores Bromberg’s versatility on electric bass, casting him in the dual roles of soloist and groove-keeper. The track also features one of the last recorded performances by keyboard legend George Duke, whose solo work here is symbolic of his whole career: smartly melodic, harmonically daring and irrepressibly soulful.