Most everyone has a favorite tune: A song that lingers in memory and takes you back to another time and place. For many years jazz musicians have transformed popular songs into instrumental pieces such as John Coltrane's version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit "My Favorite Things." There is magic in taking something familiar and transforming it into something new, as Chicago guitarist Bobby Broom proves once again on his new release Song and Dance.
An active and respected musician and educator, Broom is an authentic jazz guitarist with roots and vision. He's paid his dues and continues to grow, releasing the popular jazz funk debut Clean Sweep (GRP/Arista, 1981) and others as a leader; performing with jazz giants including Miles Davis, Stanley Turrentine and Sonny Rollins; and playing regularly with the Deep Blue Organ Trio. When you listen to him play it's clear that he's the real deal.
His trio has evolved over the years and now includes the solid anchor of bassist Dennis Carroll and percussive drummer Kobie Watkins. The recording documents musicians who share an intuitive awareness of the music and one another. The recording's technical aspects of improvisation, style, and execution could be analyzed, but the important factor is that the music is soulfully articulated so that the listener becomes more than just an aural spectator but an active participant in the listening experience.
Like Broom's previous trio recording Stand! (Premonition, 2001). the new recording breathes new life into old favorites like The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" and R&B singer Luther Vandross' hit, Superstar." This music is rooted in experience as Broom plays with deep emotion and soul, suffused with an exquisite sense of timing as he skillfully interlaces chords and notes just as effective (in his own way) as his heroes Wes Montgomery, early George Benson, and Grant Green. But he is a contemporary stylist, and when you listen to the original "Blues For Modern Man" it could easily be paraphrased as jazz guitar for the modern musician.
When's the last time you heard a jazz version of the 1950's television show The Little Rascals' theme song, "Good Old Days"? The trio transforms the tune into a swinging piece that is creative yet also retains its originality. Other gems are unearthed like the sweet version of "Wichita Lineman," first recorded by country pop singer Glen Campbell. Broom's own originals glow as well. Song and Dance can be appreciated on many levels: as a serious jazz guitar recording; for its excellent trio interaction; or for its unique song interpretations. Even if you have never heard of these songs they are at once embraceable and warm; like old friends.