Saturday, January 18 was Bobby Broom’s birthday and I had the chance to see him on this day with Dennis Carroll on bass and Makaya McCraven on drums in Marian’s Jazzroom in Bern. What I saw was quite convincing, the time was flying and the concert finished much too fast.
For a guitar trio this is quite an accomplishment since the three instruments produce only a certain range of sounds and the variety needs to come from the choice of tunes and the playing itself.
The band played a combination of well known songs with faster and slower tempi. They started with the pop song “I Can See Clearly Now” followed by the Charlie Chaplin tune “Smile”. Both very popular songs but Bobby Broom and his trio gave these songs a new coat and they used the structure of the song for their own and rather extraordinary interpretation. Dennis Carroll has been playing with Bobby Broom for many years, and I think this deep understanding between bass and guitar gives this trio the unique character and strength.
The next song the band played was a ballad titled “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”. It’s my wife’s favorite ballad and I have some very nice recordings of this tune, but what I heard from Bobby Broom makes you never go back to any “standard” interpretation of that song.
The set finished with a blues and a traditional song, all again interpreted in the band’s own unique way. We got another ballad as encore and then, as said before, the concert was over far too soon.
If you want to hear more from Bobby Broom use the iTunes links below. My personal favorites are the ballads “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” and “Coming Home”. I found it easier to access Bobby Broom’s style through the ballads.
To close this review a quote from Pat Metheney from September 2008: “I have been a huge fan of Bobby since I first heard him with Sonny Rollins and his new one (the “Song and Dance” album) is one of the best guitar trio records ever.”
Some weeks ago I received a newsletter from Concord Music including an offer to buy CDs released in 2013 for a reduced price. I took the opportunity and ordered some CDs including a free download and a signed booklet.
One of the CDs was Eliane Elias’ tribute to Chet Baker. Chet Baker died 25 years ago and there is a little bit of an extra remembrance about him, even if I never had the impression he is really forgotten, since playing “cool” was never out of fashion.
The group that supports Eliane Elias on this CD are her husband Marc Johnson on bass, Victor Lewis on drums (the two played with Chet Baker – as I have learned), Randy Brecker on trumpet and flugelhorn and two guitar players, Steve Cardenas and Oscar Castro-Neves, and these two guitar players make for me the difference on this CD. Some tunes are played without a drummer like the title song “I Thought About You” and bass and guitar lay the perfect foundation for a really cool and groovy song.
On “There Will Never Be Another You“ the samba groove comes from an acoustic guitar and in other tunes (e.g. in the intro of „Just In Time“) piano and guitar play the melody together which I think is just a classic sound.
Nevertheless, the rest of the CD is also quite remarkable:
Randy Brecker shows his skills with notable trumpet solos on “There Will Never Be Another You”, “That Old Feeling” and with the flugelhorn on “Just Friends”.
Some of may favorite tunes like “You Don’t Know What Love Is” or “Girl Talk” are found on the CD.
“Embraceable You” and “Let’s Get Lost” have a lengthy coda where Eliane Elias is improvising over some simple changes and creates a nice groove.
“Just in Time” starts with a fantastic piano and guitar intro. The bass is then defining the fast tempo of this song and only the guitar accompanies the singing.
The CD ends with a beautiful ballad “I Get Along Without You Very Well” where Eliane Elias is alone, just her voice and her piano playing.
If you like the sound of traditional and perfectly swinging jazz, you should try to listen to this CD. I like it a lot.
Concord released also an informative video to promote the album: