Louisville audiences have had the pleasure of seeing guitarist Bobby Broom on several occasions over the past few years, including performances at the Seelbach Bar with Dick Sisto, the currently dormant Kentucky Center’s Summer Jazz Fest and at the Jazz Factory.
Broom tours and records with the legendary saxophonist Sonny Rollins, was a mainstay of Dr. John’s band for many years, and holds down not one but two weekly gigs in the Chicago area with two separate trios, the Bobby Broom Trio and the Deep Blue Organ Trio. For his upcoming CD release party at the Jazz Factory in Louisville, he will bring the other members of his self-named trio, namely Dennis Carroll on bass and Kobie Watkins on drums.
The CD, Song and Dance, showcases Broom, Carroll and Watkins in a 65-minute set. The weekly opportunities to work together pay off, as Broom’s loping guitar lines, Carroll’s deft bass work and Watkins’ busy but unobtrusive drumming create a solid offering for the jazz enthusiast, while opening possibilities for pop music fans with interpretations of such 1960s and ’70s tunes as the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love,” the Bonnie Bramlett/Leon Russell composition “Superstar” and the Roberta Flack/Donny Hathaway hit “Where is the Love?” Broom and company also play earlier standards such as Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile,” and the classic “You and the Night and the Music.” Broom’s compositional talents are demonstrated by the trio’s performances of his “Coming Home,” “Blues for Modern Man” and “Waiting and Waiting.”
In a recent telephone interview, Broom covered topics ranging from the new CD to his teaching activities. Asked whether he would focus on songs from Song and Dance here, he said, “We have a lot of material … to draw from. Yes, we will be doing things from the new album in addition to things from past albums —
you know, just a little bit of everything.”
Since he was here in November with the Deep Blue Organ Trio (featuring organ and drums, rather than bass and drums), I asked if he had a different approach to playing in these different formats. “Not consciously,” he said. “My approach to music is pretty consistent regardless of who I am working with. I am thinking about playing music, and my relationship to it is the same when I am with Sonny Rollins, the Deep Blue Group or with my own trio. The way that I hear myself as a part of the music might change depending on the instrumentation. Those are things that happen naturally in the moment, not something I approach in a premeditated way.”
Broom regularly teaches at DePaul University and also conducts clinics. While in Louisville, he will present a free jazz guitar workshop at Steilberg String Instruments, 4029 Bardstown Road in Buechel, at 2 p.m. Saturday. Additional information on the workshop is available at www.stringinstruments.com.
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