Bromberg Plays Hendrix: Remastered

A half century after his tragic death, Jimi Hendrix remains cemented in place near the top of anyone’s list of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. So why would anyone decided to pay tribute to the iconic axe-man on a full album without a single guitar? The virtuosic bassist and world-renowned producer Brian Bromberg tackled that audacious challenge on his 2012 album “Bromberg Plays Hendrix”, a blistering homage on which Bromberg’s fretless and piccolo basses stand in for the original’s fleet fretwork. Joined only by the in-demand drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Bromberg summoned a whirlwind of sound from his four- and five-string arsenal to craft a smoldering set of classics in keeping with Hendrix’s exploratory spirit. A decade after its recording, the album remains dizzying in the virtuosity and visceral power of its musicianship and passion. Brian was happy with the original version of the CD, but after a big studio upgrade and new equipment he wanted to jump back into the project and do a remix/remaster to make the project sound as good as he felt it deserved to sound. On September 18, 2020 a newly remixed and remastered edition will be released digitally by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group.

I had the complete honor of discussing the newly remixed and remastered edition of this epic album with Mr. Bromberg. We got into how the original ideas took shape to make this sort of thing a reality. The absolutely attempt to not try and sound like Jimi Hendirx…because…well…how could anyone, nevermind a bass player. We dive into the heart and soul of how these songs work from the perspective of a listeners, the players behind them as well as someone like me, who likes to get it into people’s ears for the first time. When you or I listen to these songs, there will be that sense of familiar with a head twist to the different, I think it only adds to the already greatness of the music we know and allows something that has been there for us through so many days, into us in a newly imagined way. And With that, Mr. Bromberg and I talk a bit about the changes that were made in his new state of the art studio to make an album you already want to crank up, worthy of going to 11 or 12 on the volume knob. Wee…turn it up man. And what is this about a holiday album…just listen all the way through our chat to find out.

Top Of The Mushroom To Ya

The final portion of this week’s proGram had a view from the top:

Fem Skator- I.P.A.
Barnen- I.P.A.
Helen Of Jazz- Jose Rizo’s Mongorama

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Isso É Que Eu Sei- Marcos Valle With Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad
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Guinnevere- Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (live at The Blue Note NYC)
Magnificent Madness- Adam Meckler Orchestra (Live In Minneapolis)
The Tao of Heavy D- Adam Meckler Orchestra Ft. Michael B. Nelson (Live In Minneapolis)

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The Sound- Thollem
Three Egors- Merema

Something Hidden

The middle portion of the proGram was the spot you could hide along with:

Electricity- Bill Frisell
Baba Drame- Bill Frisell
Hungaria- Rez Abbasi
***pre-recorded conversation with Rez Abbasi***
Diminishing- Rez Abbasi

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One For Geoff- Ray Russell
We Go Back a Short Way!- Ray Russell
Metatron’s Cube- Tom Guarna

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Crosstown Traffic- Brian Bromberg
Purple Haze- Brian Bromberg

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How Long- Cosmic Vibrations Ft. Dwight Trible

Soundrooms

The first portion of this week’s proGram was a morning surprise:

Mack the Knife- Ella Fitzgerald (live, Berlin 1962)
Long List Of Troubles- Gregory Porter
Revival Song- Gregory Porter

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You Rascal You (I’ll Be Glad When You’re Dead)- Loudon Wainwright III
What I Say- The Flying Horse Big Band
Everybody Wear They Mask- Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/Wynton Marsalis

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Evidence- Teodross Avery
Ugly Beauty- Teodross Avery

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Revenge Of The Rabbit- Tomoko Omura
Erasmus- Ellen Andrea Wang

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Oriental Folk Song- Chien Chien Lu

Rez Abbasi’s Django-Shift

Guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi is among a rare breed of artists that continue to push boundaries while preserving the traditions he has embraced. Consistently placing on DownBeat’s International Critics Poll alongside luminaries (friend of this proGram) Mr. Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny since 2014, he continues to forge new ground with his many multi-dimensional projects. He has established an enviable reputation over the course of fifteen albums as leader and years of touring internationally: not simply as one of the finest guitarists of his generation, but also as a musical alchemist with the ability to parlay his continent-crossing range of influences into consistently fresh and innovative compositions and reframings of the tradition. His deep musicality has been applied with equal conviction to contemporary New York acoustic jazz, the Qawwali and Indian Classical traditions of South Asia and the heady fusion sounds of the 1970s, each time applying the filter of his own musical personality to deliver inimitable results. Commissioned in 2019 to present a project on Django Reinhardt by the Freight & Salvage’s Django Festival in California, Rez boldly redefined his engagement by turning the focus away from Django, the codifier of the Sinti guitar vocabulary, and onto Django, the composer.

I had the pleasure of discussion the wonderful new release, “Django-Shift” which was released on August 28th via Whirlwind Recordings with Rez. First off, I always love when the artists I speak with is as energized by the conversation as I am. I could feel that energy when Rez picked up the call. We dive into how the album went from a moment of “Sure, I can play that gig”, to that eureka moment when he realized this should become a project. We talk how it he arranged the pieces for a contemporary trio featuring Neil Alexander on organ and electronics and Michael Sarin on drums. The results offer a fascinating and unique insight into an often overlooked aspect of Django’s genius, his skill as a composer. I think you’ll find that this conversation will lead you to want to give this album a bunch of listens, but it also may assist in opening your ear into the different avenues of many artists you think you love already…that desire to know more about the sound, the style the person or people is something I think Rez’s music, whether this album or one from the past does, it leaves that welcome mat out in from of the house…just knock.

No Thing But

The final part of this week’s proGram rose up to see what’s going on and on and on:

Auntie Anne’s Waitress- Vita and the Woolf
Shoemonk- The Nix Ft. Vula Malinga
Our Sons- Jabee Ft. TRISHES
Shadows- Zero 7

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Sign- Roosevelt
Oh My Love (Bob Vylan Remix)- The Skints
Bucciarati- Open Mike Eagle Ft. Kari Faux
Keep That- The Keepaz

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Milk Dub- Death by Dub
Tom Sprang- The Wailing Souls

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Bakunda Ulu- Jupiter & Okwess
Khona Manje- Vusi Mahlasela
Molaetsa Keo- Vusi Mahlasela
Zimbabwe- Vusi Mahlasela

Unstick The Cracked

The middle portion of the proGram this week could get you unstuck:

Orange Blossoms- JJ Grey & Mofro
He Is- Laura Rain & the Caesars
Seasons- Laura Rain & the Caesars
Your Sex is Overrated- Fantastic Negrito Ft. Masa Kohama
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Pink Skirt- Emma Donovan & The Putbacks
Truth- Michelle Sarah
Time Lapse- Monzanto Sound
Osvaldo’s Rebellion- Mestizo Beat

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Taking Me Down (DJ Spinna Journey Remix)- The New Mastersounds
Hit the Deck (Doug Gomez Merecumbe Funk Remix)- ShwizZ
Dragonball Durag- Thundercat Ft. Smino & Guapdad 4000

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Nickel And Dime Blues- Gangstagrass

Ripe And Ready

The first part of today’s proGram sounded ready when I gave it a good thump test:

Stars Align- Jerry Castle
Prison To Heaven- The Avett Brothers

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Cookin’ At Home- Gas House Gorillas
Already Dead- Austin Lucas
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No Teasin’ Around- GA-20 (live)
Hole In Your Soul- A Band Called Sam
Down To The Bottom- Eric Johanson
It’s The Monkey Or Me- Lisa Mann
greenarrowradio promo- Malaya Blue
These Foul Walls- Malaya Blue

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Are You a Have or Are You a Have Not- Paul Gillings
You And Me- G.E. Smith & LeRoy Bell

Kiss Me Like You Mean It- Bey Paule Band
Give You What You Need- Johnny Rawls