“ Bruschini is one of those players who mixes incredible chops with overwhelming taste to make you do nothing but scratch your head in wonder. ” - John Heidt
— VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE
CD Review - JOHN MCLAUGHLIN ARCHIVES
As You Were
OK, cross John McLaughlin jazz sense with Stevie Ray Vaughn blues power, then add a touch of Carlos Santana's feeling for balladic melody, throw in Holdsworth's angularity and forward steps John Bruschini. That's probably enough of a recommendation for most people, but good things are worth savoring, so let's dwell a little while longer.
Bruschini's appeal is due, in part, to his long tenure with Cecil Taylor, and with many of Mr. Taylor's various touring ensembles. Bruschini was featured on the Japanese TV broadcast of "Live at the Knitting Factory" with Cecil Taylor's group, RADA. Bruschini has also performed, recorded and/or toured with Craig Harris, Dave Douglas, Mose Allison, Denis Charles, Carlos Ward, Charles Persip, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Akira Tana, Butch Morris, Sonny Simmons, Myra Melford, Cyro Baptista, David S. Ware, Dave Kikoski, Wilber Morris, Dennis Irwin, Warren Smith, Jon King, Antoine Roney, Jeff Williams, Guillerme Franco and Gerry Brown.
Cecil Taylor's name stands out there as probably the most familiar, but the list hides a host of associations with other greats (Sun Ra, Joe Farrell, Billy Cobham, Kenny Burrell, Wynton Kelly, Cecil McBee, Paul Haines, Zoot Sims, Woody Shaw, etc., etc., etc.) In the close-knit circle of the jazz world, you're never far away from a legend.
What this musical promiscuity leads to is a formidable network of sidemen honing their chops, trying to be heard above the next guy, and the musicians here have got to be amongst the best. Robert Aries [keyboards] (John Scofield, Bill Evans [sax]), Jeff Hirshfield [drums] (Dr. John, John Zorn, Randy Brecker, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Bley), Jim Nolet [viola] (Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry), Kip Reed [bass] (Gil Evans, Tania Maria) are all exceptional, providing the perfect arena for Bruschini to show us his versatility--for it is his album, but not at the cost of what at times seems almost telepathic group play.
Track highlights include the Mahavishnu-like B4 with excellent union phrasing between guitar and Nolet's viola, superb Larry Young-type Hammond organ from Aries (for a comparison take a listen to The Art of Larry Young) on Bloodroot and the incredible syncopation of Funkyard, a 4-based rhythm with Bruschini laying back to exaggerate the swing.
The fact that this album comes out of a jazz scene from the recently blighted New York City [review written 20/09/2001] may add a touch of pathos for the listener-the album's closing track, Sarah's, could have been written as a beautiful epitaph. ...being as it is the closest I've ever heard to a JM recording without JM himself playing, As You Were immediately qualifies as a must have.
JazzTimes CD Review
As You Were
On "As You Were," high-energy guitarist John Bruschini leads a cohesive quintet that includes electric bass and violin. He's a talented musician who freely changes attitudes as he wields both acoustic and electric instruments on this set of original compositions.
A little retro perhaps but not in a bad way, Bruschini alternately sounds like Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin on the first two tracks - "As You Were" and "B4" - as he ranges from rippling acoustic guitar to scorching electric on top of a driving groove. While violinist Jim Nolet helps add to the Mahavishnu vibe, deeper into the program a clearer impression of the group's identity begins to emerge as Bruschini and company render material as diverse as "Way Down," a progressive ballad with a killer guitar solo, and "Bloodroot," a relentlessly funky exercise with boiling organ work by Robert Aries. The set concludes with "Sarah's," an anthemic ballad that provides an especially nice vehicle for Bruschini's fluid, imaginative approach that easily explains why he can be found in the company of musicians the caliber of Cecil Taylor.
February 2001 - "20 Year in Review" issue
by Jim Ferguson
Review – Jazz Now Magazine
" John's an amazingly reflexive musician. He's got a quick mind and superb creative instincts... a joy to listen to...tunes were consistently fine, as were his scorching, blues-drenched solos. Al Dimeola would give his hair weave for John's chops and imagination."
by Chris Kelsey