Friday, December 21, 2012

Bromberg Plays Hendrix CD Review


Perhaps you are scrolling through your iTunes, and you are not seeing any new or interesting. Boy do I have a suggestion for you: Bromberg Plays Hendrix. It might just blow your mind.

Brian Bromberg is a veteran jazz and fusion bass player, and is certainly one of the more adventurous ones out there. He is not afraid to do something different, so you get projects like Bromberg Plays Hendrix. This is not just a guy playing bass solos on each song. For fifty minutes he performs all of the guitar and bass parts with his bass guitars, with plenty of liberties taken, none of which make the source material any easier to play.

So, he uses his prodigious talent to mimic the Hendrix’s guitars and vocals, using electric, acoustic and piccolo basses, along with what must be a mountain of effects (including a wah pedal). Of course he plays the bass parts too, and stays perfectly in sync with the powerfully gnarly drummer, Vinnie Colaiuta, who does a great job of holding things together. I am not sure who gets vocal credit, but any of the words are secondary to what Bromberg and Colaiuta are doing up front.

Brian has chose ten songs that any true Hendrix fan will approve of: “Fire,” “Manic Depression,” “Freedom,” “The Wind Cries Mary,” “All Along the Watchtower,” “Foxy Lady,” “Hey Joe,” “Crosstown Traffic,” “Spanish Castle Magic,” and “Purple Haze.” Whew!

And Hendrix fans will find that Bromberg interprets the music in his own way, but is still respectful of the source material. It is amazing how well he performs the guitar parts, though I do find the whole experience to be rather intense. I usually can only listen to one or two songs before I feel the need to move along and do something else so my brain can take a rest.

So, if you are a die-hard Hendrix fan or a complete bass geek, Bromberg Plays Hendrix will be right up your alley. I do recommend trying before you buy, as this album will not be everybody’s cup of tea. And Brian is not done yet -- just wait until I review Bromberg Plays the Beatles!


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