Bobby Broom: Ask Me Now

I enjoy the cover, with its playful reference to a classic Monk LP. But the music is the real treat here. Bobby Broom has played on some big stages in his career, yet he also knows how to create an intimate sound—imagine a trio of world class musicians strolling into your apartment and playing so under-the-radar that the neighbors on four sides and super don't even get a whiff of what's going down. This is one of those types of performances. The joy here is in the sweet little things: the attack of the comping chords, the sly shaping of the phrases, and the pop of the unexpected notes (the way Monk would've done if he'd plucked the six strings). Broom shows again that he is one of the most musical guitarists of our times, a player who can improvise what he hears and not just what his fingers have learned by rote. There are plenty of Monk tribute CDs on the market, but you should make room in your little red shopping cart for this release.

June 16, 2009 · 2 comments


Joe Henderson: Ask Me Now

Joe Henderson came late to the tenor trio (at least on records), and acquired an immediate reputation in this format thanks to the mastery he had developed in other contexts. On this Monk standard, and with this rhythm pair, Henderson develops a soft-toned yet adventurous way of winding through the repetitive ballad harmonies. The bass is the tenor's main partner, while the drummer's brushes maintain a steady tempo and Henderson's blowing soars in a succession of bluesy choruses punctuated by occasional — and all the more expressive — honks and squeals.

June 24, 2008 · 0 comments


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