altPerhaps his stint with Stan Getz rubbed off on him. As jazz bassists go, Brian Bromberg evokes a tender lyricism out of his instrument that few of his peers are capable of. On Wood, Bromberg performs 11 tunes in a trio, duo, and solo format, with his 300-year-old upright bass at the fore. From a bouncy bebop version of "Speak Low" to a funky take on the Beatles' "Come Together," this album is remarkably consistent. Bromberg performs Eddie Harris's Freedom Jazz Dance" and Miles Davis's "All Blues" solo, and you forget you're hearing just a single bass. His technique is refined but soulful, and his take on
the "Star Spangled Banner" is more understated than flashy (no small feat). Though Randy Waldman backs him ably on the piano and brother David on drums, Bromberg is clearly the star on this remarkable effort, and the warm studio sonics emphasize his instrument over all the others. You can hear the influence of Charlie Haden on his playing, but that's OK. Bromberg is a talent to watch, and this low-key album is a solid introduction to his many skills. --Jason Verlinde

1. Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers
2. Dolphin Dance
3. Come Together
4. Goodbye (For My Father)
5. Speak Low
6. Freedom Jazz Dance
7. I Love You
8. Straight, No Chaser
9. All Blues
10. Days of Wine and Roses
11. Star Spangled Banner