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When Alan Broadbent first started out, he was playing six nights a week in Boston with a trio. The nightclub format offered him a chance to develop his ideas and test them out before a live audience. Then came stints with Woody Herman, Nelson Riddle, and other collaborations on the West Coast. Maybeck Recital Hall, Grammy awards, Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, Natalie Cole, Sheila Jordan and Diana Krall have all become a part of his everyday working vocabulary.
The small group jazz format remains quite familiar to Broadbent, in spite of his rigorous schedule and extended commitment to the broader entertainment industry. This is his tenth trio recording. He continues to perform in and around L.A. and to share the passion with old friends. At Kikuya in Huntington Beach a few years ago, he performed “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” with bassist Putter Smith and drummer Paul Kreibich. The fluid emotion and close-your-eyes sensations that the three shared with their audience probed deeply into the soul.
Now, with Brian Bromberg and Joe La Barbera, the pianist interprets this standard Great American Songbook tune once again on You And The Night And The Music. Broadbent’s naturally aligned harmonies, crisp attacks and delicate lyricism give the listener a serenade for celebration. Bromberg interprets with stalwart ensemble cohesiveness and a lyrical solo ride. Floating, as if suspended in the center of one of the cozy nightclubs somewhere in your own hometown, the pianist and his partners stimulate your senses with a prescription for happiness.
Mellow and filled with pleasant harmonic concepts, the album presents seven standards with emotions bared and directions running free. Broadbent closes his eyes and lets the music flow; what happens just happens. Spontaneous melodies flow across his dimly lit performance area. Bass and drums understand fully. The pianist works up a sweat, and his concentration allows him to continue unabated. “What’s New” features a gradual climb by the pianist onto hallowed ground. When he pushes his fiery cadenza to the limit, he relents and chooses to close the piece with a humorous quote. Always one to relate to his audience on a personal level, Alan Broadbent interprets standards that take the listener on a vacation through inner space.
Track Listing: You and the Night and the Music; I Wish I Knew; With the Wind and the Rain in her Hair; Baubles, Bangles, and Beads; Ceora; What
Personnel: Alan Broadbent- piano; Brian Bromberg- bass; Joe La Barbera- drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.