Every city tends to take its own jazz treasures a bit for granted, notwithstanding the respect they generate across the country and beyond. With My Shining Hour
(Origin Records), to be released Aug. 19, guitarist Bobby Broom reminds us of his stature as soloist and bandleader. Fronting a trio with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Makaya McCraven, Broom stands front and center - and benefits enormously from this high exposure. Rarely has the understated elegance, tonal warmth and melodic poetry of Broom's work been rendered more apparent to the ear. Playing as if he has nothing to prove (which he doesn't), Broom focuses on the meaning of the music rather than matters of virtuosic display. Thus "Sweet and Lovely" thoroughly lives up to its name, "The Tennessee Waltz" inspires Broom to lyrical flights of improvisation and the title track points to a technically accomplished soloist unafraid of simplicity. Because of this recording's sonic transparency and all-standards repertoire, it's poised to heighten the global profile of a Chicago guitarist richly deserving of it.