Jack Broad | Current

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Electronic: Nujazz Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Current

by Jack Broad

An eclectic,electric blend of influences where harmony, melody, rhythm, and textures fuse to create an original and distinctive vision of contemporary, guitar-based, jazz/fusion music.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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1. Realm
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2:05 $0.99
2. Current
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5:44 $0.99
3. Emanations
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4:00 $0.99
4. Cold Cut
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5:23 $0.99
5. Swamp Witch
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7:41 $0.99
6. Rise And Shine
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2:39 $0.99
7. Never Coming Back
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6:19 $0.99
8. World Line
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4:28 $0.99
9. Nu Sounds (For The Old Soul)
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4:11 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Jack Broad was raised in a musical family in Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Miami University on a music scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor Of Music degree. Jack has been fortunate to have studied music with Charlie Banacos, Ben Monder, and Brad Shepik and has attended masterclasses by John Abercrombie, Frank Gambale, Andy LaVerne, Kenny Garrett, Billy Hart and Tim Hagans. Jack recently moved to the New York City area and has performed at the Knitting Factory, Kavehaz, The Supper Club, Pianos, CBGB, Sin-E, and Blues Alley (Washington D.C.), has performed with Don Braden, Bruce Arnold, Eivind Opsvik, Jon Irabagon, Jason Smart, Peter Evans, Rene Marie, Tim Kuhl, Pete Brendler, Andrew Neff, Jim Orso, Christian Fabian, Jeff Davis, Josiah Wolf, Stacey Dillard, rock band Aerovox and members of Alicia Keys\' band and has opened shows for George Benson, Dave Mason, Kirk Whalum, Ray Obeido, and Rachelle Ferrell, as well as touring throughout the U.S., Asia, and Canada. Jack teaches guitar privately and can be heard playing in many jazz groups around the NYC area. Jack just released his first CD “Current” in September of 2008. The material was written, programmed, recorded, mixed, and produced by Jack and is currently being played on jazz and fusion radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada.


Reviews


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Conor Dowling @ The Gear Page

Current
Jack Broad’s Current is a happy paradox of an instrumental CD. While clearly guitar-driven, it steers well clear of the many pitfalls of the dreaded “guitar album”. The guitar functions here as an integral element of the music, which is in no way subservient to it: Broad’s masterful guitar work serves the compositions here, which are deftly wrought, and work successfully in their own right (one could easily imagine different combinations of instruments successfully playing these compositions, which is a testament to their ability to stand on their own).

Jack is an accomplished player and writer of great skill and musicality. Although he’s got plenty of chops to burn (and does when the moment’s right), his solos are expressive and expansive in what they bring to his tunes, never merely gratuitous. His arrangements are terrific and well considered, and reflect an updating and reconciliation of classic fusion timbres with thoroughly modern sounds. Broad strikes a winning balance here as elsewhere: When he uses a traditional fusion solo synth tone, it works beautifully along side the modern electronic sounds and drum-and-bass beats that make up a good bit of the soundscape. This approach could easily fail in the hands of a lesser producer and arranger, but Broad’s sensibilities and taste prevail here, as they do throughout this release.

Stylistically the arrangements range from frenetic jungle to downtempo and even more traditional jazz idioms. Jack has clearly paid attention to the many developments and offspring of electronica, and has figured out a way to happily marry these idioms t the modern electric guitar. Broad’s guitar work is by turns sophisticated and chromatically complex and simple and melodically direct, alternating dizzying runs with a Monkish forthrightness. Although his instrumental voice is mature and fully his own, it invokes players like Holdsworth, Frisell, and even Ribot at times.

Broad seamlessly integrates angular lines with plainly musical diatonic phrases. Far from displaying the affectation heard in the playing of some equally capable players, the results are instead smooth and effortless sounding (which belies the difficulty of what Broad is up to). His tone is equally paradoxical – warm and organic, yet modern. Jack clearly uses modern signal processing to stake out his sonic territory. His use of the guitar synthesizer, an instrument that often cloys, is compositionally effective and tasteful. If, like me, you tend to dislike what guitarists do with guitar synths, you may find yourself equally surprised.

While Current is self-released, don’t let that fool you: There is nothing remotely amateurish or DIY about the disc (other than the fact that it is DIY). This is a wonderfully realized and fully professional release, from the gorgeous design and packaging through the writing, playing, engineering, and packaging. If you’re considering picking up the release, treat yourself to the CD – the graphics, design and glossy cardboard LP-style package make the non-virtual version worth owning.

Mark Saleski

Jazz.com (Swamp Witch review)
Usually just seeing the word "programming" makes me shudder. That feeling is soon followed by the lovely parabolic arc of the disc into the trash can. Don't get me wrong, programming has its place. It's just that it's almost never done correctly, many times creating more problems than it solves (and yes, I know all about drummer problems), not the least of which is a certain blandness. I'm happy to report that jazz guitarist Jack Broad knows what he's doing both in the areas of programming and guitar wrangling. "Swamp Witch" has Broad blowing crazed rock-like passages as well as reverb-soaked pedal tones. I'm reminded of early Bill Frisell as well as Guitar Shop-era Jeff Beck. It's a whole lot of fun and puts a modern stamp on what we used to look down on as fusion.

Mark F. Turner

All About Jazz review
With a fusion-for-today mindset, savvy tech work and some imagination, New York guitarist Jack Broad amps up the cool factor on Current.This debut goes beyond the usual fretboard pyrotechnics as Broad putson a one-man show, not only laying down heated guitar licks but alsowriting, programming and delivering everything into the final product.

While the music lies in the same vein as works by well-known guitarists Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale, Current'slittle touches—such as the atmospheric electronic effects on"Realm"—add a psychedelic touch. That track discreetly sets up thetitle track, a composition with a sci-fi attitude, keyboards, apulsating rhythm and Broad's sharped edged guitar playing.

Broad's performance matches the music's intelligent design, from cleanor distorted riffs to intricate soloing ("Emanations") to a nastymoog-synth bass and hypno-club beat on the killer "Cold Cut." Tuneslike "Swamp Witch" have multiple-personalities—the Texas rock/bluesswagger of Stevie Ray Vaughan, a slow cooked jazz swing tempo and evena little grind-house horror movie to match.

The remainingtracks don't wane. "Rise And Shine" has a rock-anthem quality, whereas"Never Coming Back" contains shadowy contours reminiscent of PinkFloydian dreamscapes. The lighter popping themes in "World Line" and"Nu Sounds" are equally hip; the former donned with odd dancesyncopation and the latter spinning a Nuevo-suave beat, a scorchingguitar solo and a closing with sampled R&B voice.

High quality composition combined with Broad's creative DIY skills, make Current a totally fun release.

www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=31660

Pico @ Something Else Reviews

Current
OK, so there's already a whole lot of great 2010 music to consider (you'll see), and yet here I am looking at a 2008 release? This is one that escaped my notice when it first came out in September of that year, but we need to park the new release train to take a slight look back, because Jack Broad's Current demands it.

Like most of the parade of artists I've been hootin' and hollerin' about here lately, you're most wonder "who the hell is he?" Broad is a guitarist, teacher and composer. He hails from Cincinnati, got his music degree from Miami (Ohio) and learned from many of the greats often mentioned on this space, including Adam Rogers, John Abercrombie, Kenny Garrett, Billy Hart and Frank Gambale. He moved to the Big Apple in 2001 and has performed with Don Braden. Jon Irabagon, Tim Kuhl and Bruce Arnold, among others. But when he put forth his first effort Current a year and a half ago, I suspect that's when he really made his imprint.

I say that, because Current doesn't sound at all like a CD that sounds like someone's first time out; I even looked in vain for prior releases by Broad, assuming this album was not his first. But no, Broad came to his first sessions as a leader prepared, with a highly developed sound that's also highly distinctive. Broad's brand of fusion stands out not just because he's a fine guitarist and composer, because these days you can be both and still fail to make a lasting impression. Everything on this record is Jack alone: the production, the guitars, the programming, and the compositions, which all but assures that his fingerprints are going to show. But Broad goes further, because of his adept use of all those electronics.

So OK, there's elements of drum 'n' bass in his fusion and some songs start out like a solicitation to the dancefloor, but he doesn't use these artificial components as a crutch, because his guitar remains the centerpiece of his music. The programming and synths add colors, rhythms and melodic enhancements in careful measures. It's a delicate balance achieved by only a few guitarists, most notably Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, and especially Allan Holdsworth.

Broad brandishes many influences, but it's impossible to pin him down to being fixated on any of them. The atmospheric pieces like "Realm" or "Rise And Shine" might be inspired by David Gilmour, while the galloping title cut follows the tasteful construction and tone of a Larry Carlton or Kurt Rosenwinkel. On the Texas blues demeanor of "Swamp Witch," he manages to bridge the gap between Albert King and Bill Frisell. For the sinister "Cold Cut", he pours down a waterfall of notes on top of a arachnidan synth bass line. It's a similar guitar attack that he uses on "World Line," only on the latter tune, he skillfully navigates through shifting time signatures.

Elsewhere, Broad weaves compelling textures in which his guitar lines serves as a conduit for bright, detailed melodies. That's the beauty of a song like "Emanations," where he blurs the line between harmonics and improvising. On "Never Coming Back," he dispenses with soloing altogether, leaving it stand as an instrumental power ballad that gets by on the layered textures alone. The closing track "Nu Sound (For The Old Soul)" veers closer to straight up electronica dance music than I am usually willing to venture, but in the end, Broad's nasty guitar lead pulls me in.

Like Oz Noy's Schizophrenic from last year, Jack Broad makes a guitar record that balances fun with fancy fretwork, only making those dazzling runs with his fingers in the places where they belong. Current's songs and spacey atmospherics stay with you as much as Broad's guitar wizardry does. That, I suspect, is what Jack Broad intended. This is an impressive debut album of a fully-formed, well-rounded talent who has more than likely just begun to show us what he is capable of.

John W. Patterson

JazzRock-Radio.com
Jack, very solid material, been playing it ALL day yesterday and today at work on repeat and I am totally digging it! Really grows on ya with variety of compositions that are quickly engaging. I am gonna play it on my next show at JazzRock-Radio. com for sure!

Dick Metcalf at Improvijazzation Nation

Current
I was just blown away when I listened to these tunes on Jack's MYSPACE page... he had sent me an email calling attention to the page... soaring guitar solos and mixes that have influences from all the way back in the glory days of the 1960's. Names like Mahavishnu, Carlos and Robin Trower come to mind immediately, but he makes it clear that this is coming from HIS soul. Tunes like "Cold Cut" are definitely "today" songs, with all the high tech wizardry and spirit that the tools can add to guitar-based super-movement... this track goes into the outer edges of the stratosphere & well beyond... you won't be sitting still while listening to this piece. I liked this tune (especially) because of the pulsing rhythms he has driving it! If you're looking for something a bit more mysterious and moody, try "Swamp Witch"... there's definitely some "guitar voodoo" involved in this powerful epic (7:41)... he winds 'er up slowly, but it isn't long before you realize the broom he was riding on musta' had about 400hp under it... razor-sharp sliding lines that take you into a séance of your own... too cool! It was actually the closer, though, "Nu Sounds (For the Old Soul)", that made this CD a clear winner for my ears, though... I keep coming back to it on the playlists (or in the car player) - can't get that tune outta' my head... definitely my favorite piece on the album. I rate this as MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, & will tell you - you should keep your ears on this gent... he's gonna' invade yer' ears over the next few years.

Scott Albin

Jazz.com
The number of young jazz guitarists directly influenced by either Charlie Christian or Wes Montgomery is dwindling. Nowadays, the main guitar influences are Metheny, Scofield, Frisell, Abercrombie, and Rosenwinkel. Jack Broad describes the music on his Current CD as \"guitar-oriented, electronic, modern jazz/fusion.\" The recording is self-produced, to say the least, with \"all songs composed, programmed, performed, recorded and mixed by Jack Broad.\" He did not, however, do the mastering or take the photos. Despite that, this impressive debut will be much appreciated by lovers of contemporary jazz guitar, in all its many guises. \"Current\" contains a Metheny-like circular theme and an assertive Broad solo that most recalls Rosenwinkel in terms of structure, ideas, clean lines and ringing tone. Broad\'s sure technique extends beyond his proficient guitar playing. The seamless electronic keyboard, bass and drum tracks that he programmed and mixed are very engaging and complement his guitar work perfectly. Ethereal voices are effectively layered in at times as well. Elsewhere on the CD, Broad shows that he can rock out with the best of them and create more dissonant, highly provocative soundscapes, but on this title track he gives us an overview of his basic stylistic foundations, from which the possibilities are endless.