Bobby Broom: Body and Soul
Body and Soul
Bobby Broom (guitar)
The Way I Play (Origin 82504)
Bobby Broom (guitar),
Dennis Carroll (bass), Kobie Watkins (drums).
Composed by Johnny Green, Edward Heyman, Robert Sour & Frank Eyton.
Recorded: Pete Miller's Steakhouse, Evanston, IL, January-April 2007
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
Bobby Broom started his career at the top. At age 16, he gigged with Sonny Rollins on the stage of Carnegie Hall, and was working the major New York clubs even before he went off to Berklee. Broom's early heroics remind me of a lady I know who won an Olympic medal when she was a junior in high school. Everything must seem anticlimactic after that.
But Broom's music remains compelling -- especially on standards, which have become his strong suit. Broom plays the old songs with lots of heart, as he demonstrates again on his The Way I Play release. This CD was made at a steakhouse instead of Carnegie Hall, and almost didn't get made at all. An acquaintance of Broom's showed up at this gig and recorded the proceedings, week after week, over a period of four months. He sent the music -- eventually enough to fill up nine CDs -- to the guitarist. Broom is hypercritical, and usually can find a reason not to release any given track, but even he was moved by the gems tossed off the cuff at this low-key gig.
There's plenty of soul in this "Body and Soul." The rhythm floats effortlessly, with just hints of a Latin ambiance -- but it never really turns into "Cuerpo y Alma." Broom makes every note ring true, lingering over his phrases with a lover's touch. The solo guitar coda at the end is especially good. Maybe it's time for the promoters at Carnegie Hall to book him for a return appearance?
Reviewer: Ted Gioia