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Bobby Broom: My Shining Hour

Jack Bowers By

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Chicago-based guitarist Bobby Broom's Shining Hour encompasses nearly an hour of "Sweet and Lovely" trio jazz, showcasing seven memorable tunes from the Great American Songbook complemented by pair of three-steps, Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz" and the Patti Page evergreen, "Tennessee Waltz."

Besides the songs mentioned above, Broom's working trio (bassist Dennis Carroll, drummer Makaya McCraven) wend their way through "My Ideal," "Just One of Those Things," "Sweet Georgia Brown," "Oh, Lady Be Good" and "The Heather on the Hill," a song Broom first encountered and learned to love during his decade-long association with the great saxophonist Sonny Rollins. Broom's spare, lyrical style is perfectly suited to these enduring themes, and his colleagues are no less compatible, wresting the utmost warmth and charm from every number. "My Shining Hour" is especially likeable, opening with the verse and proceeding at a slower pace than usual with Broom uncloaking every nuance of its inherent musicality. Carroll and McCraven solo perceptively on that one, as they do elsewhere.

For sheer loveliness, however, it's hard to top "Heather," from Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's wonderful score for the Broadway musical Brigadoon. Broom and the trio linger lovingly over that one, leaving no subtlety overpassed. "Jitterbug Waltz," on the other hand, is pure fun, as Waller envisioned it, while "Tennessee Waltz" is a paragon of heavy-hearted sentimentality. "Sweet and Lovely" also includes the verse, leading to one of the more instantly recognizable melodies in the popular music canon. It's taken at a genteel gallop, as are "Lady Be Good" and "My Ideal." "One of Those Things" is a tad faster-paced, but not enough to cause any palpitations. In fact, aside from "Georgia Brown" and "Jitterbug Waltz," there's nothing conspicuously zesty on the menu.

Broom, who was born and raised in New York City and made the move to Chicago more than thirty years ago, has a special fondness for the Songbook's enduring repertoire but hadn't until now recorded an album devoted primarily to that music. "I grew up in Manhattan kind of drinking the water and breathing the air a generation or so removed from the time of Tin Pan Alley," he says, "so maybe through osmosis I benefited from that." Whatever the reason, Broom and his trio affirm on My Shining Hour that Tin Pan Alley is an ideal locale for their singular approach to music-making.

Track Listing: Sweet and Lovely; My Ideal; Just One of Those Things; My Shining Hour; Sweet Georgia Brown; The Heather on the Hill; The Jitterbug Waltz; Oh, Lady Be Good; The Tennessee Waltz.

Personnel: Bobby Broom: guitar; Dennis Carroll: bass; Makaya McCraven: drums.

Title: My Shining Hour | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Origin Records

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