Exposé Online banner

Nili Brosh — Spectrum
(Nili Brosh Music NBR2019, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-04-30

Spectrum Cover art

Guitar hotshot Nili Brosh starts out her third solo album with five tracks centered around acoustic guitar and finishes with five on electric. “Cartagena” is a lovely Spanish-inflected piece with bass and percussion accompaniment. It’s a bit more tonally adventurous than (say) Ottmar Liebert, but in a similar idiom. “Andalusian Fantasy” is in the same vein, with hints of Al DiMeola, though again Brosh distinguishes herself with fluid runs (rather than the fast picking DiMeola is known for) and solos that play with tonality in unexpected ways. “Circus Wedding” and “Rachel in Paris” move north from Spain to France, adding accordion into the mix for tunes that could come off as corny and clichéd but work wonderfully, hearkening back to Django Reinhardt. “Rachel” also features violin and piano, then introduces some synthesizer arpeggios in its second half, turning its rhythmic invention on its side and beginning the transition to the more electric music that follows. After a tasty melodic ballad with clean-toned electric, Brosh starts to pull out the stops and gives us a set of energetic workouts where her guitar is backed by programmed drums and synthesizers courtesy of co-producer Alex Argento. Brosh’s playing takes on elements of Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, and other flashy modern ax-wielders, though she doesn’t sound too derivative. I miss the real drums, percussion, and bass of the album’s first half, and as much as I enjoy the electric pieces while they’re playing, once they’re over, I forget them and remember the more interesting tracks from the first half of the album. It’s possible that the later pieces would be more memorable had they been done with real drums, a bassist, and a keyboard player, but it does seem that they feature less harmonic variety and more predictable melodies. In a world full of talented guitarists, Nili Brosh can hold her own, and if she could bring the same spirit of invention to all of her tracks, she would be a real noteworthy player.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Nili Brosh

More info

Latest news

Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Fromuz - Audio Diplomacy – Fromuz is short for "From Uzbekistan," the homeland country for this inspired quintet that took Tashkent by storm a few years ago. Guitarist Vitaly Popeloff leads the band in a series of fusion and...  (2008) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues