Brad Rambur Day and LynnJaZZ is currently living his dream with the ‘Can’t Put It Down’ CD!
It’s difficult to catch this chart climber these days, but I’m thrilled to say that I have! It is with great pleasure, I introduce sax man, Brad Rambur! Brad invited my pen and I to Blake Aaron’s KIFM gig in Carlsbad, CA, September 16, 2010 and the rest is history.
It went a little like this~
Moonlight drenched guitar-toting Aaron’s silhouette as he weaved through an audience of oohs and ahs. Crowd-pleasing Aaron lingered his way through a trail of audience smiles and returned to the stage. Suddenly, Blake, Brad and Nathan became a jazz triangle before the bellowing crowd.
“Thanks you guys! Here’s under-age Burt Brion and straight from GQ Magazine, Brad Rambur!”
“Are you making fun of my haircut?!”
and then like this~
The band thwacked it and led into Brad’s full-bodied, crouched down, give-it-up solo. Rambur blew it out! Blake erupted center stage and displayed mindboggling finger work that drew us into the band’s magnetic jazz force. What a vibe! Nate’s steady bass beat had Brown shuffling his way into a Nate-Rambur volley that ended in a jazzy standoff laced with audience approval. The band quieted themselves for a chilled lead in to Blake’s spectacular finale. Pin-drop silence took hold.
“Ah, thanks, you guys! Thanks, so much! We’re gonna do somethin’ a little funky for you. This one’s called Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.”
And now, a little comedy relief from ‘our’ very popular sax man~
When questioned about the CDs bulging from his bungee-corded trunk, Brad replied, “Okay, so I took the 1,000 CD’s out of my car and something just didn’t feel right. I put 500 of them back in, and started following the ice-cream man around the ‘better’ neighborhoods of San Diego, hoping the discerning gastronome, and jazz-o-phile would pop out of the house for an Ice Cream Sandwich and some ‘Can’t Put It Down’. I’ll let you know how the exercise goes!”
‘Can’t Put It Down’ CD Release Party at La Costa’s Blue Fire Grill, Carlsbad, CA
Photographer and videographer~Joan Lawson (http://www.lawsonproductions.com/)
Saxophonist Brad Brambur and his band: Special guest saxophonist Eric Marienthal, keyboardist Jack Hill, guitarist Vince Cooper, bassist Jim Reeves, drummer Roger Karlsson and percussionist Roger Friends
Listen to what they’re sayin’ now:
Courtney Buffett http://www.buffettphotography.com
‘Can’t Put It Down’ CD
CD review for Amazon.com
I walked into the room, clicked on Brad Rambur’s new ‘Can’t Put It Down’ CD and my 18-hour stress-filled day instantly transformed into jazz bliss! Brad’s melodic sax coupled with Lorber’s tickling of the ivories on opening track, Warm, left me breathless. The steady pulse of Jim Reeves bass locked and loaded the ‘Can’t Put It Down’ groove. Top-notch guitar riffs soared above the clouds on Pinnacle and Linda Hill’s soulful rendition of This Masquerade gifted a feminine touch with a regal twist. Rambur’s collaboration with Eric Marienthal’s musical prowess yielded the perfect marriage of smooth and jazz. The jewel box cover photo capturing Brad’s caress of his music’s heartfelt vibe is an exact match. Here’s to hoping my Bose car stereo will do justice to the night drive I have planned with this phenomenal music! Brad Rambur’s CD can be summed up in five simple words, stellar sax, a must have!
Review by Lynn Olson aka LynnJaZZ owner of http://LynnJaZZ.wordpress.com/
“When Eric Marienthal called me to work on the Brad Rambur project I was excited to help him,
because this was our first time collaborating to write music for another artist. I love the way
our songs came out, especially Warm, which I think is one of my all time favorite compositions.
Brad sounds great on the track, hopefully this will be a song that a lot of people get to hear and
“Brad Rambur is a new face on the jazz scene with a fresh saxophone sound that’ll put a smile on your face! Brad’s debut album “Can’t Put It Down” showcases his broad range of style and emotion that will bring you in from the first verse!”
Biographical Interview (11-01-2010)
1. How did you get started in music, and who were some of your early musical influences?
I come from musical families on both sides. My maternal great grandfather left Italy for America as a barber and trumpet player. My great aunt and uncle owned a music store in L.A., where my mom took music lessons. On my dad’s side, all of my great aunts and uncles can still (in their 80’s) sing in three-part harmony. My dad grew up singing in the car. One of my favorite quotes of his is “the radio was never on in the car. My dad (Brad’s grandfather) had us all singing from point A to point B.” When the time came to join the school arts and band program, it was a given. I just didn’t realize how long this interest would last!
My earliest influences were my dad’s love of music (all types really) and funnily enough my neighbor Denny Owens who was a KISS fanatic! From there the Jazz of the 40’s, the popular music of 70’s radio, and the Rock of the period came into my world.
2. Who have been your biggest musical influences, and what do you admire about each of them?
I have to say that the biggest influence has been Eric Marienthal. There isn’t a nicer and more encouraging guy on the planet! That of course says nothing about his prodigious skill as a musician. I routinely encounter other musicians who say “Man, that guy can play ANYTHING, and well.” The term virtuoso applies here. And the beauty of it is, he’s willing to share that. I could go on and on about Eric, but rest assured, the gift of Eric’s friendship, mentorship and skill rank very high on my list of blessings.
I could talk about dozens of other influences because fundamentally, if it sounds good and produces a mood when I listen to it, I like it – all types and kinds of music. I’m addicted to cool sounds. But if I had to pick only two others, as a saxophonist and guitarist I would have to say that as a young man, David Sanborn and Stevie Ray Vaughn were my primary influences. I remember seeing Stevie Ray Vaughn on Friday Night Videos playing “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder and thinking, “I need to be that guy!” Or hearing “Hideaway” by David Sanborn and then learning everything I could by playing his records over and over.
If there’s a theme here, it’s this – I love the blues, and the emotive, liquid, emotional sounds that are its essence. Both David and Stevie could play with technical virtuosity, but man, a whole note played by either guy just dripped with soul, attitude, raw emotion. Just thinking about it has me want to grab either instrument and (try to) do the same thing.
Of course being exposed to Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly, Miles Davis, Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles didn’t hurt. You might laugh, but I am also a big country music fan. Charlie Parker used to listen to country music, saying that he liked the stories. So do I! They inspire me to tell a story without words. And my next record will have some lyrics on it. Me writing that way is long overdue.
3. Tell us a little more about Eric Marienthal, the producer of “Can’t Put It Down.” How did you meet, and how has your relationship evolved?
Well, I was playing a gig with a new band on Coast Highway in beautiful Solana Beach. The gig was outdoors, and someone heard us from the road. He stopped and said how much he loved the saxophone, and that this was “really great.” We were of course pleased. And then he said that he booked another great venue here in Coastal San Diego. He offered us a gig! We of course took that, and after about three of them he walks up and says: “Hey, you’re pretty good. I know Eric Marienthal if you ever want to meet him and take a lesson.” My jaw dropped. One of my heroes! The first time I ever saw him was with the Electrik band in Orange County in the 80’s. I was then, and am now, just awestruck by what the guy can do. So we met up, and I started studying with him. If you intend to get good at something, the skill of your teacher matters. Where better to learn the craft of playing the saxophone than from someone with that kind of skill?
From there we started working. Eric is a studio/session musician, a solo artist, and in several bands. He plays several instruments, but the thing (I am pretty sure) he prefers to do is to play that saxophone. I have gotten, and continue to get, broad mentorship and education from him. At times it seems a bit like Aristotle beneath the proverbial tree…. You know, pondering the mysteries of music, how humans connect with one another and then…. The inner workings of the saxophone.
One day on this jaunt, he said; ‘You are ready to make a record’. I have been blessed to hear nice things from people who have heard me play, but this struck me in a new way. I, for the first time believed that this was possible. Eric, while kind and encouraging, in his words (paraphrasing) ‘Was there to make me better’. The making of the album was the next step in the evolution. By no means is my development as a musician over, and I look forward to the rest of the journey. What I have taken most from this experience with him is that there is constant adaptation and improvement to be had in any endeavor. Music happens to be one of those things with seemingly limitless boundaries to explore. Translating this to other aspects of my life brought me to this: ‘being competent is good, and being really good at something takes focused purposeful work’. Sometimes that learning is difficult, but the result is well worth the effort. Something like this plays through my mind every day.
4. Who has been the biggest influence on you personally?
That’s a hard question. There have been so many wonderful people in my life. Generally speaking, I love to learn. So, I seem to have naturally sought out people who have a willingness to share their experiences and accomplishments. What is interesting about living in San Diego is that there are many current and former members of our armed forces in town. In fact, it has the highest number of military personnel of any county in the country. Since my father, both grandfathers, an uncle, and two great uncles were in the military, there was a lot of that ethic in my house, world, and early career. I have had very close friends, mentors and business partners who were graduates of service academies as well. Learning from, working with and socializing with those folks gave me a very different perspective as a civilian and as a creative person. For example, having the opportunity to work for the Chief Strategist for a Theater-level conflict exposes you to a way of thinking that most people just don’t encounter. The net result, critical thinking and work ethic have always been highly valued in my world.
5. How would you describe your musical style? What makes it unique?
If I had to define it, from the word “go” (about the age of 10) I always had a sense of playing things “jazzed up.” That was the term for it then. I got in a lot of trouble for it, in fact. Lots of rhythmic variation and syncopation were part of my “natural feel” for music. I instantly gravitated to Jazz, as those are very common elements of that type of music. As I hit the high school years and popular music became more and more prevalent in my listening, I got hold of dance, blues, funk and rock in a way that seems to have fused itself into what comes out of me now. Jazz harmonies, with funk and rock rhythms, all tinged with the blues, that have a popular, accessible melodic theme throughout. The feedback I get on the record is really interesting, especially knowing what the people are accustomed to listening to. Those that listen mostly to popular music gravitate to “Danielle,” which is a pop ballad, really, or “Chasing the Sun,” which is a funky dance-type tune. Those that listen to smooth jazz immediately go to the tunes that Lorber and Marienthal wrote for this record. Those that are the art and movie and “mood” types have picked “Pinnacle” and the cover, “This Masquerade.” When I think of it that way, I can’t decide if I have a definable musical style!
6. The saxophone is a challenging instrument. As a musician who plays several instruments, why did you focus on the sax?
The SOUND!!! I can tell you from the first time I heard Eric Marienthal up close and in person, you cannot describe the sound of that man on that horn from five feet away. Microphones, even those that cost five figures, can’t capture it. I used to tease some of the blues guitarists I have played with over the years that “one note from the sax is as colorful as six (at a time) from your guitar!” It’s all about the sound, the flexibility and expression you can achieve with a saxophone. You can pour your soul into that container, shake it up, and let it out for all to hear. It is in the top three on the list of satisfying things in my life (right behind my family and my family).
7. What is the strangest or funniest experience you’ve had as a musician?
Being captured and thrown into a van in front of a fast food joint by my college-era band mates. We must have scared the you-know-what out of the folks in the restaurant. What fun times! I don’t recommend abduction to anyone, though. Folks, don’t try this at home.
8. If you could hang out for a day with one musician you don’t currently know, who would it be?
Well, do I have to stick with the living? If alive, I would pick Dave Sanborn. Talk about reaching across so many genres, from playing with Clapton to the Kamen Saxophone Concerto on the other end, and everything in between, including playing Woodstock, of all things. I would want to know how he got where he did, and how the journey shaped him as a human being and a musician. Not with us anymore, it would be Stevie Ray Vaughn – How do you DO that, and sound the way you do, it makes my soul ache listening to that playing. Cannonball Adderly – Where is your mind, your soul, and your “center” when playfully bouncing along on a tune, hopping, lilting, dancing about the canvas that is the song’s structure? And Miles Davis – Why the spaces, and why the harmonies you chose? If I were stuck on a desert island forever, the one record I would take would be “Kind of Blue.” Lastly Jimi Hendrix – I hear pain and frustration coming out. How did you as an Airborne Soldier from Seattle get through the portal of the 60’s, with the racial and cultural tensions, and make such visceral sounds?
9. Besides music, what do you do for fun?
I am a swimmer, cyclist, scuba diver, performance driving instructor, camper, student pilot, surfer, and tinkerer. I’m always building and modifying something, the projects are never-ending. Most of all, I enjoy learning – about people, cultures, nature, the list goes on.
Debut CD Release “Can’t Put It Down”
Now Available on iTunes
When two-time Grammy winner Eric Marienthal announces that it’s time to make your first album, you don’t hesitate – you do exactly that! A little under a year later, “Can’t Put It Down” hits the streets. Released independently on August 19th, 2010, it contains 10 amazing tracks. “Warm,” the lead track, is currently being promoted at Jazz radio stations across the country.
Brad Rambur met Jazz and Fusion legend Eric Marienthal through a mutual friend and jumped at the chance to learn all he could from such an accomplished musician. A bond was forged and Eric stepped into the role of producer and musical director for “Can’t Put It Down.“ Marienthal enlisted the prodigious playing skills and writing talents of Jazz Fusion icon Jeff Lorber and with that, the recording process began. The first track, “Warm,” was co-written by Eric and Jeff. With Brad’s tenor saxophone weighing in on this captivating tune, a hit was born. Rambur had a hand in the composition process, co-writing four of the 10 tracks. One of them, “Danielle,” was inspired by and written for a close friend; it stands out on the CD and has received rave reviews. The album was recorded in part at the La Costa Spa and Resort in Carlsbad, with additional recording done at Jeff Lorber’s recording studio in Los Angeles and locally in Rambur’s hometown of San Diego.
The launch party on August 19th was held at the beautiful La Costa Spa and Resort and hosted by morning DJ Mike V. of the powerhouse Jazz station 98.1 KIFM. The 500 or so guests enjoyed performances by Rambur and his band, with Eric Marienthal as special guest artist.
When asked about working with Brad on his debut album, Eric commented: “Brad Rambur is a new face on the jazz scene with a fresh saxophone sound that’ll put a smile on your face! Brad’s debut album “Can’t Put it Down” showcases his broad range of style and emotion that will bring you in from the first verse!” Jeff Lorber remarked, “When Eric Marienthal called me to work on the Brad Rambur project I was excited to help him, because this was our first time collaborating to write music for another artist. I love the way our songs came out, especially “Warm,” which I think is one of my all-time favorite compositions. Brad sounds great on the track, hopefully this will be a song that a lot of people get to hear and enjoy.” It seems as though that wish is coming true as Billboard’s Radio and Records Report has him on the Smooth Jazz Indicator Most Added.
Ask Brad to comment on the release of his debut album and you will see why “Can’t Put It Down” is aptly named – his passion and talent are compelling. In his own words, “For me, this record represents so many things. To capture a life’s passion, and to be able to share that with your loved ones and anyone else who might enjoy it, is literally a dream come true.“
http://www.bradrambur.com — firstname.lastname@example.org — http://www.facebook.com/ramburmusic
My parents and sister, for making me the man I am, and for requiring me to play Christmas Carole’s prior to opening gifts! For encouraging me, and for even being able to afford a saxophone, (and lessons)!
My extended family for helping make me me!
To my friends, for all of their encouragement and support, especially Mike Whisler for introducing me to Eric.
To my music teachers:
Farrell (Doc) Coy
For such a wonderful experience playing as a young man. It has carried me through life, playing music.
To my bandmates over the past 30 years. Such fun! The best of times!
To my bandmates on this record:
For making the live performances on this record what they are.
To Don Skelton and Chris Montgomery
as part of that band that has been playing La Costa Resort’s Blue Fire Grill for 3 years running.
To Joey (Alfano the Paisano) Alfano
for having us at the Blue Fire grill, and giving us such great opportunity through the years.
Chalize Zolezzi at Taylor Guitars
for all of the wonderful help and great instruments!
Theo Wanne at Theo Wanne Classic Mouthpieces
for some really phenomenal equipment that helps me make my sound.
The makers of Vandoren Classic #2 and # 2.5 reeds.
A critical part and really the beginning of the ‘sound’.
Jeff Peterson and Mike Cleveland @ Horn Improvement.
Mike thanks for the PHENOMENAL setups on my horns! http://www.hornimprovement.com
Courtney Buffett for all of the photography. http://www.buffettphotography.com
Jeff McCullough – for capturing and blending the sounds we all made into the best record we could make! (not to mention some critical performances on the record!) Your skill is humbling, and I am thankful you applied it on my behalf.
Jeff Lorber – for writing such hip and wonderful tunes, and playing them in only the way you can. It is such a privilege to get to work with you, I have learned so much, and look forward to doing this again! I have listened to you for 25 years, and to be able to play on a recording with you is a privilege, truly.
Eric Marienthal – I can’t decide if you are the big brother I never had, the wise sensei of saxophone, producer extraordinaire, or just a wonderful human being I work to be more like. – Probably all of the above. Without your encouragement, mentorship, skill, musicianship, leadership, compassion, and enthusiasm, this work likely would not have happened, and definitely would not have turned out the way you ensured that it did. I am so deeply thankful for your presence in my life. It is much richer and complete as a result. I am forever thankful. Simply: I am humbled by your willingness and the effort you put forth to help me realize a lifelong dream.