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Songwriter Spotlight

Brian Bromberg

Journalists and fans typically want to know at least the highlight reel moments of an artist who has amassed an extraordinary discography of credits and accomplishments, but due to his limited focus on the mountain ahead, it takes a bit of arm wrestling to get much out of the humble man who has had a signature line of basses in his name for more than a decade.

“Playing in Stan Getz’s band as an 18-year-old out from the desert [Tucson] was a life-changing experience, probably the single greatest experience of my career. Earning a Grammy nomination in 2007 for Downright Upright was certainly another highlight. Of course, I lost to Herbie [Hancock], but that’s okay,” he chuckles.

Jazz sax titan Getz is one of many legends and icons in all genres of jazz and popular music with whom the versatile Bromberg has recorded, played and/or toured. “I don’t think about it ‘til someone asks me in a situation like this, but yes, when I look at the credits I’ve been fortunate to accumulate over the years, it’s pretty astonishing.” The list of bold faced names boasts Hancock, Dizzy GillespieSarah VaughanDave GrusinNancy WilsonStingElvis CostelloSteven TylerMichael BubléJosh GrobanDiana KrallAndrea BocelliDavid FosterGeorge BensonBob JamesLee RitenourKenny GChris BottiBoney JamesDave Koz and many more. But Bromberg is grounded and maintains perspective.

“I’m incredibly blessed to have played with the greatest musicians in the world. You have to have the realization of who you are and the relationship with the Spirit, or God or whatever you want to call it, and be able to communicate it at a high enough level to be able to play with the greats. Then success is the byproduct of the spiritual space.

“Truth is that I didn’t know what to do or how to do it when I first started out. Most bassists don’t [know]. I learned completely on my own. And you can hear the growth and development on each of my solo records. Everything is getting better—the production, the songs, the playing. Hear the evolution, go on the journey and experience the growth,” Bromberg says about his 20-album solo career that began with the release of his 1986 debut disc, A New Day.