Even when not orbiting the solar energy field ruled by his longtime boss, Sonny Rollins, guitarist Bobby Broom generates much warmth and power while presiding over his own musical universe.
"Song and Dance," in fact, is a fine reminder that Broom, a consummate sideman with such heavyweights as Rollins and Dr. John, is also a capable leader. Most especially so with his tightly knit trio, which co-features bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins.
Broom's round tones and clear, fleet, incisive lines illuminate a varied repertoire made up of pop tunes he's loved since childhood (ranging from the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love" to Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman"), plus a varied bouquet of evergreens and originals.
Whatever tune Broom plays, he recomposes, placing his own distinctive imprint on it. Songs whose melodies have long been enshrined in his head are redesigned into sleek, soulful modern jazz vehicles, safe at any speed.
Even on comic kiddie-fare like the Little Rascals' theme, "Good Old Days," he generates fresh, fluent ideas, never falling back on easy, hackneyed licks. In fact, his playing throughout is bold and wide-sweeping, with his imagination spurred on by Watkins' continuously crackling drum work.
Uneclipsed by Sonny and writing musical prescriptions on his own without Dr. John, Broom whisks dramatically out of the shadows of the sideman and into the limelight of the leader.