Guitarist Bobby Broom's New Origin CD, Set for 8/19 Release
While Bobby Broom's 2012 CD "Upper West Side Story" ("a spectacular album"-DownBeat) focused exclusively on original material, the guitarist takes a very different track with "My Shining Hour," due for August 19 release from Origin Records. The luxuriantly melodic session features Broom's working trio-with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Makaya McCraven-placing their stamp on beloved American Songbook standards.
"When I formed the trio in 1991 it was to avoid playing weather-worn standards with makeshift groups," Broom says. But when bassist Carroll suggested they adopt "Jitterbug Waltz," Fats Waller's classic tune ended up opening the door to "the great songs that have lasted, that became part of the American quilt. Only one of the pieces we recorded had been in the trio's repertoire. These were all newly approached by me and the group."
In addition to the title selection and "Jitterbug Waltz," the program includes "Just One of Those Things," "Oh, Lady Be Good," "My Ideal," and "Sweet Georgia Brown." Two other songs, Lerner and Loewe's "The Heather on the Hill" and the non-standard "Tennessee Waltz" were picked up by Broom during his lengthy tenure with Sonny Rollins.
It's a testament to the trio's cohesiveness and deeply shared intuition that the album ends up feeling like far more than a collection of familiar tunes. Broom's free-spirited approach provides plenty of room for Carroll's subtle interplay and McCraven's dancing figures.
"What I've had to come to terms with is the spaciousness that is inherent in the guitar trio," Broom says. "In the beginning there was all this room, and no one playing chords behind me when I'm soloing and playing melodies. Now I almost accompany myself with chords as I play melodies, and the melodies shape the harmonies during my solos."
Carroll, who came up on the Chicago scene playing with heavyweights like Jodie Christian, Bunky Green, and Clifford Jordan, has anchored Broom's trio for more than two decades. There's been more turnover in the drum chair, which has become something of a launching pad for stellar young players. From George Fludas and Dana Hall to Kobie Watkins, Broom's drummers have all joined the elite ranks. McCraven, who started playing with Broom about five years ago, is on the same trajectory.