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Alan Broadbent Trio: Like Minds

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Alan Broadbent Trio: Like Minds
Alan Broadbent, a superb New Zealand-born pianist who has made his home in America for more than fifty years, has mapped out another impressive trio album, Like Minds, his twenty-seventh as leader or co-leader and third for Savant Records. The term "pianist" is used here because that is Broadbent's most conspicuous role on this recording. He is as well-known at home and abroad as a Grammy-winning composer-arranger for an array of jazz luminaries including but not limited to Sue Raney, Chet Baker, Natalie Cole, Woody Herman, Sheila Jordan, Irene Kral, Bud Shank, Diane Schuur, Charlie Haden, Shirley Horn, Michael Feinstein, Jane Monheit, Kristin Chenoweth and Diana Krall.

On Like Minds, Broadbent leads a stalwart trio whose other members are bassist Harvie S and drummer Billy Mintz. And, yes, they are of "like minds." One of the perks of having as long and successful a career as Broadbent's is that a leader can choose the sidemen who best suit his musical style and philosophy. Such is the case here, as Harvie S and Mintz generously support Broadbent without once stepping on his toes or encroaching upon his space. A splendid trio—but having said that, there are a large number of comparable ensembles on the scene today, and every one of them must rely on something special that sets them apart from the others.

On Like Minds, that something special includes Broadbent's perceptive choice of material. To amplify a quartet of too-seldom-heard standards, the trio performs luminous jazz originals by Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell and Charlie Parker, plus Broadbent's earnest anthem, "Prelude to Peace." Mobley's delightful "This I Dig of You" is a great way to open, while Parker's buoyant "Yardbird Suite" is equally spot-on as a closing number. The standards are "With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair," "Dance Only with Me," "Stairway to the Stars" and "This Is New." Rollins wrote the calypso-inspired "Airegin," Powell the shuffling "Blue Pearl," on which Harvie S and Mintz take the lead.

Of course, it is one thing to have excellent material, and quite another to play it well. Any problem there? None that is perceptible to the ear. Broadbent, in his mid-seventies, is playing as well as ever, while Harvie S and Mintz know how to make a rhythm section sparkle. In sum, this is a solid and pleasurable hour-long session by a trio of world-class jazz musicians.

Track Listing

This I Dig of You; Prelude to Peace; With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair; Dance Only with Me; Airegin; Stairway to the Stars; Blue Pearl; This Is New; Yardbird Suite.

Personnel

Harvie S
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Like Minds | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Savant Records


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