Stepping Out with a Strong Lead Beat: Here Now by The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge delivers fat sounds and assertive funk in their debut CD “Here Now.” The eight tracks have hot beats and a comfortable roll, with songs like “Limit is the Sky” which brings a gliding ease through a memorable melody, and “Upper West Side Ride” which throws off a delightfully smartass NYC attitude. What stands out immediately is how accomplished this Italian quartet is and how tight they sound together while breaking away to give each instrumentalist his own space and time. For an interesting juxtaposition, consider the free-sounding intro to “Night Walk with Wayne” and the gorgeous turn-of-the-page into a soulfully sweet, contemplative piece. Not to be missed.

Personnel: Bruno Ceretto, saxophone; Fabio Puglisi, piano/keyboards; Massimo Battista, bass; and Matteo “Matteuccio” Ceretto, drums.

When did you become interested in music and when did you start piano?

Well, music has always been a huge part of my life. My dad was a tenor and used to play lots of classical music records. Absorbing various genres of music from an early age helped me to develop a personal taste, and of course made me want to learn how to play an instrument myself as well.

I decided to start off with drums, and I must admit I was pretty good at it. Unfortunately, however, our neighbors did not think so. So my dad bought me a 61-key portable keyboard, and just changed my life forever. I believe I was about five years old.

Where did you receive your formal music education?

I started learning from a few beginners’ workbooks and music theory guides. I then went on to take private piano lessons with various teachers. I should add that life, and experience, have been the best school for me. No books or teachers will ever give you the training that comes from making music with others out there in the world.

What was the first jazz song that you heard that interested you in jazz?

I believe it was “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra. They were broadcasting this TV documentary miniseries, can’t remember the name, and that particular episode began with Duke playing the song live. How wonderful! It was love at first listen.

What were the biggest challenges of producing this album and how long did it take?

“Here Now” was the first recording experience for Brooklyn Bridge as a band, and took almost two years to complete. I’d say the main obstacles were mostly lack of time and geographical distance between the various members of the group.

Where was it recorded?

The album was recorded and mixed by Matteo Ceretto and Lorenz Breuer at Studio Apogeo, Siracusa, Italy.

Talk about some of your favorite tracks and why.

Well, actually I love them all. Each song has its own peculiar soul and reason for being. However, one I especially like is “Laquisha,” mostly because of its relaxed and soulful mood. Definitely sounds like the perfect soundtrack to a romantic candlelight evening.

So, “Here Now” – why is the time right for this music?

Actually, I believe there never was a bad time for music, especially for jazz. There’s this deep sense of immediacy, of urgency in jazz music that makes it the right background to everyday life.

What do you like best about your overall sound?

I don’t really know how to answer this one. Honestly, we always find something to improve in ourselves. As much as you like your creation, in the end you usually find you could have done differently here and there, you know. Nevertheless, I must admit that we managed to get a quite compact and dynamic sound on “Here Now.” Also, it’s really groovy, and I love that.

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Photos courtesy of and with permission of the artist.

© 2022 Debbie Burke

Books by jazz author Debbie Burke

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