Brian Bromberg Plays Hendrix

Article Contributed by Fiona Bloom | Published on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Legendary jazz bassist Brian Bromberg delivers a shredder with Bromberg Plays Hendrix, a remixed and remastered tribute album in honor of one of the greatest entertainers of all time... Jimi Hendrix. Released digitally via Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group with vibrant sound and an appropriately psychedelic palette that vastly improves the sonic experience. The reissue also includes a new bonus track, Bromberg’s original song “Jimi,” a sonic portrait of the hard-rocking wizard.

Watch “Jimi” Here:

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 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.

"I always try and have original music on every CD I do. I recorded a tribute CD to the legendary Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim that had a lot of original music on it done ‘In the Spirit of Jobim.’’ (That is also the title of the CD.) Bromberg Plays Hendrix is no different as I wanted to record an original song for the project. I wrote the song “Jimi” in the spirit of Jimi’s great song “Voodoo Child,” which did not make it on the CD due to circumstances beyond my control. So, my song “Jimi” kind of fills the musical gap left by not including "Voodoo Child" on the project, as the feel and vibe of the songs are different than all of the others on the CD. It rocks hard but also has a bit of straight-up funk as well. “Jimi” is just a powerful, fun, in-your-face track with some insane drumming from the amazing Vinnie Colaiuta. Crank it up!”

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.

A noted “shredder,” Bromberg wields his fluid and supple fretless bass in place of Hendrix’s lead guitars and vocal melodies. “The fretless bass is a lot more emotional, more human,” he says. “It got me one percent closer to the way that Hendrix delivered a melody. When you play fretless you can’t screw up; it’s all you, and you have to be musical about it. It was a monumental challenge to do the record, and it was insanely fun.”

That intrepid and celebratory attitude, paired with the bassist’s scorching musicianship, makes Bromberg Plays Hendrix a fitting and invigorating tribute to the legendary guitarist. In this new addition, that spirit becomes all the more vital.