Every recording artist dreams of having a video go viral, but jazz bassist Brian Bromberg never imagined that one of his clips would receive over one million views. The Grammy-nominated musician who thrives in both electric and acoustic bass settings unassumingly posted a live performance video with his Unapologetically Funky Big Bombastic Band on his Facebook pages featuring a monster bass solo on the funk throwdown “Minneapolis, 1987.” Something magical happened. Amassing over 1.2 million views to date across multiple social media platforms, the voracious response to the video spurred Bromberg to drop the track as a single, the fourth from his “Thicker Than Water” album.
Filmed during last spring’s Berks Jazz Festival, Bromberg’s “Minneapolis, 1987” blows the roof off the building as the bassman unleashes a torrid, bass-in-your-face solo. Bromberg thumps away feverishly accompanied by saxophonist Everette Harp, guitarist Ray Fuller, keyboardist Tom Zink, drummer Tony Moore and the fire power of the five-piece Berks Horns.
“I knew this project (“Thicker Than Water”) was special and the band was special, so I wanted to have some videos from some of the festivals we played. I recorded in front of a live audience at three different venues. This is the first time in my career that I have done that,” said Bromberg, a musician, producer and songwriter who has crafted a diverse 25-album catalogue, resulting in five No. 1 hits and more than a dozen Top 5 and Top 10 singles.
“I was doing something in the house while the TV was on and there was a commercial that came on that got my attention because the music was slammin’! I have no idea what the commercial was for, but the vibe was great and got me in a funky mood. The next thing I know, I have my bass on, and I am playing and grooving. Poof! The song just came out and wrote itself. The first thing I thought of and came to mind was the music that came out of Minneapolis in the mid-80s. The sound, the feel, the vibe, the energy, etc. So, the song wrote and named itself. What else could I call it? You hear it and you instantly know the city and the era that inspired it,” Bromberg recalled.
The jazz-funk-R&B jam session that is “Thicker Than Water” has thrived ever since Artistry Music dropped the collection last year. The first single, “Coupe Deville,” drove into the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart. The title track followed, going Top 10 at Billboard and No. 2 on the iTunes jazz chart. “Thicker Than Water,” which topped the Billboard albums chart, showcases Bromberg collaborating with Harp, Randy Brecker, Paul Jackson Jr., Najee, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson and the late George Duke. The unexpected reaction to the live video has given the album new life and may be the inspiration for Bromberg’s next project.
“We actually might release a live CD, which would be cool as I have never done a live CD of my own music,” said Bromberg, who may opt to do another studio project first. “I have a ton of ideas and snippets of parts of songs and vibes. I’m not sure if I am going to do some special reissues, remixed-remastered CDs of previous recordings, a live CD or a new album of all original music. I would imagine it will be on the funky side if it is a new CD.”