The guitar trio is a challenging format for any six stringer. So often the end result is an album full of knuckle busting licks and very little in the way of substance. Veteran guitarist Bobby Broom avoids those pitfalls on his latest effort Song And Dance. Broom, along with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins, avoids a noodle fest and serves the melodies the respect they deserve. Make no mistake though, these guys can cook.
The selection of tunes on this outing is varied and offers something for everyone while retaining a cohesiveness that is often missing on contemporary jazz offerings. This is a straight-ahead affair to be sureóthink Kenny Burrell and Wes Montgomery, not Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny.
Song And Dance features pop tunes along with standards and some well-penned originals. The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" kicks things off and the infectious melody is played with a strong swinging groove. "The Little Rascals Theme" is a burning up-tempo number that segues into an unexpected rubato closing. Some other highlights include the Jimmy Webb classic "Wichita Lineman" and the standard "You And The Night And The Music." The rhythm section also gets the chance to stretch out with some fiery soloing on the classic "Smile."
Seasoned musicians possess the requisite skill to take seemingly simple pop songs and use them as vehicles for improvisation. Bobby Broom states in the liner notes of Song And Dance ó"This is nothing new. Jazz musicians have been doing this since the beginning, taking popular music and interpreting it."