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Interviews

Bobby Broom: Building a Legacy

By Published: April 23, 2012
"I learned early on from Jackie McLean that a person like me is valuable in jazz academia because of my experience, because of my knowledge and level of education, being a literate and studied musician ... I had no experience as a teacher when I got that first call. I was 20-something, early 20s. I didn't know what to say or do. [McLean] said, 'Just be yourself. Talk to the kids. They are aspiring to do what you're doing right now.' So that is something that made sense to me. I think it still applies."

So Broom keeps recording, teaching, studying. His individual and luscious guitar sound gains favor and influence among players and fans. "Looking at the big picture, things are going good. I feel pretty good now, having looked back at the last 10 years and having amassed a bit of a body of a work that I felt was lacking when I moved away in the mid '80s. I changed the course of my career, but that was the same time as the emergence of the Young Lions of the '80s. Wynton and Branford and Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard
Terence Blanchard
b.1962
trumpet
, Donald Harrison
Donald Harrison
Donald Harrison
b.1960
sax, alto
and all of that. They had an association with Art Blakey. So I felt if I had done the gig with Blakey and stayed around New York, maybe I'd be recording with those guys or associated more with those guys ... As a result I felt under-recorded, underrepresented as far as my recorded output. Although I'd made records as a sideman with various people.

"In the last decade, in addition to all of that I felt as a player I'd reached a point where I felt confident about my voice and that I was ready to establish that. Some of us late bloomers ... finding my sound and honing it and being ready to present it ... I just felt it hadn't been documented. Certainly not as a leader. As a sideman, you're a sideman and it's not your presentation. You're going to sound like yourself, hopefully, but you're it's not your show. I just felt it was time to do that. So I feel OK about what's happened as far as that's concerned."

He's got other projects to be considered, including possibly getting together with bassist Victor Bailey, and old friend going back to Berklee College of Music, and drummer Poogie Bell
Poogie Bell
Poogie Bell

drums
, a longtime member of Marcus Miller's band.

"Aside from that, I'm looking forward to greater opportunity for live performances with both of my groups. I think I've documented and said what I need to say in terms of presenting myself as a guitarist and bandleader. And a musician that has some vision. I feel I'm ready to go out and establish that more in the realm of live performance. Sometimes I feel like I'm operating on my own steam, but apparently that's enough because the response that I get keeps me going," he says, adding as he laughs softly, "Maybe it's just me."

Selected Discography

Deep Blue Organ Trio, Wonderful! (Origin, 2011)

Bobby Broom, Plays for Monk (Origin, 2009)

Bobby Broom, The Way I Play (Origin, 2008)

Deep Blue Organ Trio, Folk Music (Origin, 2007)

Bobby Broom, Song and Dance (Origin, 2007)

Sonny Rollins, Sonny Please (Doxy, 2006)

Deep Blue Organ Trio, Goin' To Town: Live at the Green Mill (Delmark, 2006)

Deep Blue Organ Trio, Deep Blue Bruise (Delmark, 2004)

Bobby Broom, Modern Man (Delmark, 2001)

Photo Credits

Page 1: Mark Sheldon, Courtesy of Bobby Broom
Bobby Broom
Bobby Broom
b.1961
guitar


Page 2: Courtesy of Jazz Music Archives

Pages 3, 4: Courtesy of Bobby Broom
Bobby Broom
Bobby Broom
b.1961
guitar


Page 5: Jose Horn

Page 6: Mark Ladenson


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Download jazz mp3 “Call Me a Cab” by Bobby Broom Download jazz mp3 “Blues For Modern Man” by Bobby Broom