Tom Bruner, “Dreamsville,” from Homage to a Hero: Tom Bruner Plays the Ballads of Wes Montgomery
Guitarist Tom Bruner is a veteran studio player whose work has been featured on some of the most iconic TV shows of the past few decades (Hawaii Five-O, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Happy Days, The Dukes of Hazzard). He’s also an accomplished conductor and arranger, having served as musical director for screen icons such as Milton Berle and Steve Allen. A consummate professional, Bruner has rubbed shoulders with countless heroes of the entertainment world. But on his newest album, he’s paying tribute to a hero of his own: Wes Montgomery. Homage to a Hero features brand new arrangements of Montgomery’s most cherished ballads, performed with deep reverence and heartfelt admiration.
For his re-working of “Dreamsville,” Bruner couches the slowly blooming melody in a luxurious bed of strings, adding new shades of harmony. But there’s also an abiding sense of awe. Bruner’s playing — deeply felt and carefully crafted — reveals an enduring affection for Montgomery’s original genius.