Alan Broadbent is well known for his work as an arranger and accompanist, though the pianist's recordings as a leader best showcase his immense talent.
He now lives in Southern California and plays on occasion in Los Angeles. Broadbent's first studio date for Artistry Music, with strong support from bassist Brian Bromberg and drummer Joe LaBarbera, has earned him a Grammy nomination (this same trio will soon release another disc, with strings, on the same label). The music includes standards, tried-and-true jazz compositions and originals, yet without a pre-planned approach to any of the selections.
The pianist's brisk, lyrical take of "Groovin' High is reminiscent of Hank Jones' elegant style, showcasing Bromberg and LaBarbera as well. Broadbent captures the essence of the bittersweet ballad "Lament in a salute to its composer, J.J. Johnson, who gave him encouragement during a difficult period early in his career. Bromberg is at the forefront of Broadbent's "Die Vereinbarung, nailing this engaging post bop vehicle in a single take. "Journey Home, another Broadbent original, is a breezy, swinging chart featuring each member of the trio.
But the high point is the pianist's intricate interpretation of "'Round Midnight, which retains its introspective nature while avoiding a clichéd approach; Broadbent demonstrates his gift for embellishing a well-known melody.