Bobby Broom

Upper West Side Story


MUSIC REVIEW BY Rob Young, Urban Flux


We?ve come to meet another chapter in the life of affluent guitarist, composer and producer Bobby Broom. What a joy it is to take the plunge, relax and listen to one of the most unique voices on jazz guitar. Throughout his music career, considered a prodigy at sixteen until now the native New Yorker with perseverance he has propelled upward through generations of great musicians to hone his skills and develop the essential qualities generated the fruits of his love for music are eloquently communicated on the ?Upper West Side Story? his tenth and current recording on Origin Records.

?UWSS? is comprised of nine originals all of them are composed by Broom. As a result, he summoned the talented Dennis Carroll to play the bass as well as drummers Kobie Watkins and Makaya McCraven to give their undivided attention and chemistry to this delectable collection of jazz.

He opens with ?D?s Blues? to set the mood for the session is on autopilot and cruises uptown nonstop with fluidity on the blues train. Meanwhile, Brooms? sound encompasses ruminates of jazz and soul as immaculate layers are articulated effortlessly by the guitarist steadfast approach by the trio + one is absolutely timeless.

The title ?Upper West Side Story? rides high amid the towering Manhattan skyline with an influx of raw energy and delicious musicality underscored is embraced and executed to perfection by the trio. ?After Words? the next piece engulfs a wealth of melodic moods, tasty chops and coherent phrases are simply incomparable.

In recent years, albums like ?Bobby Broom Plays Monk? in 2009 and ?Deep Blue Trio? in 2011 was the focal point and now it?s time to nurturer, generate and carry forth his own body of work with ?Minor Major Mishap? at the center stage is one of ten originals and a definite breakthrough for Broom. If I didn?t know before, this album is an affirmation why Steely Dan requested him to be their opening act on their nation tour.

?Lazy Sundays? is as expected is laid back and untainted flow and symmetry. Its pieces like this that gives you an opportunity to readjust the volume and listen intently to pure Broom at his best. The next track, aptly titled ?Fambrocious? is a tribute to his late friend bassist extraordinaire Charles Frambrough. It?s a given, this gem creatively spins with unrestrained spontaneity yet it embodies the richness of Frambrough?s warm and lyrical personality.

After listening to the pervasive voicings by this trio inspired offering, ?Father and Call Me A Cab? draws me deeper into well of why I dig the natural sound of sweeten uncluttered tones, shapes and tangible grooves which also encamps attractive and ambient shades is a definite plus on this music journey by Broom.

The affable tonality on ?When the Falling Leaves?? increases to crack the shell of its elaborate textures to create an array of opulent colors that are melodically exposed yet his voice remains focused and recognizable.

No doubt, it?s difficult to be ushered in by Broom?s distinct style, charisma and flavor. On ?Upper West Side Story? his sound remains intact with the creative elements explored the canal of jazz and soul music. Perhaps besides the music and playing, his vision to assemble his working band and original compositions in my opinion is always an added attraction. As one of the premier modern jazz guitarist today, his voice graciously unwarps the vibrant, fresh and soulful tonality he fostered over the years bar none to effectively unleash a pure unaltered sound that?s at the heart and soul of his music.





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    8649 Island Drive South
    Seattle, WA 98118
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