Jazz guitarist Bobby Broom on how Wes Montgomery made his epic mark on the music. September 17th is Wes’ Tribute Day at IUPUI in Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the Indy Jazz Fest.
There is something about this performance that speaks to one aspect of the history of America’s relationship to African American culture and vice versa.
On display here are two eternal forces, both mothership vessels, one that carries black life itself and the other, the symbolic essence of that life with its past and present of degradation, to resilience, to freedom through creativity and self-expression.
It is especially powerful that the forces are joined here, Black woman/mother and Black music, embodied in the iconic figure, Aretha Franklin. Seen here is the triumph of the African American spirit—the historic Black aesthetic, the musical and spiritual expression of a cultural experience—as well as the reverence and awe of those that bear witness to its majesty and bask in the glory of momentary bliss that it has created since it was first used as a means of sheer survival.
In Carol King, there is the example of the empathetic fellow human being, one who participates freely and unreservedly and champions the cause as well as its messenger. An evolved soul such as hers can embrace and absorb the influence, unintimidated, and create significantly in her own way, to the degree of greatness. However, she will never feel too elite, entitled or ashamed to admit the importance of that influence, or to openly display her emotional reaction to it.
What is most meaningful, in addition to Mrs. Franklin’s performance itself (which is really beyond words in its beauty, weight and significance), is the audience’s reaction to it. Rarely in this day and age do the masses take part in such impromptu and unfettered ‘call and response’. There was no time here for music-business exploitation, misappropriation, redirection, elitist validation, institutionalization, codification, commercialization, or any other attempt to control. The only available moments were those between the beats of hearts, the sounds of ears, the falling tears and the clapping of hands.
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For years, listeners identified Chicago guitarist Bobby Broom with the Deep Blue Organ Trio, a soulful organization featuring him with organist Chris Foreman and drummer Greg Rockingham.
Their appearances at the Green Mill Jazz Club and elsewhere built a large and loyal following in Chicago and beyond, the three having achieved a degree of synchronicity and mutual intuitiveness not routinely encountered.
But like many long-running ensembles, Deep Blue eventually disbanded, leaving Broom to put together another band when Steely Dan invited him to serve as opening act for a 2014 tour. Ever since, Broom has been championing his new Organi-Sation, which played the Green Mill Jazz Club successfully last summer and opened a still more impressive four-night engagement Thursday evening at the Jazz Showcase.
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In a career spanning three decades, guitarist Bobby Broom has embodied the truism that it’s the player not the tune that makes for a memorable performance in jazz. Performing as a sideman with legendary artists such as Sonny Rollin’s, Miles Davis, Kenny Burrell, Stanley Turrentine and Dr. John, just to name a few, while also constantly touring and recording with his own groups, Broom is always pushing his playing and his concepts to new heights.
Starting tonight (December 3rd) through Sunday (December 6th), he will be performing with his trio at Joe & Wayne Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago. We caught up with him ahead of this weekend’s performances to talk about his life in music, his concepts on playing and what he has in store for the listeners this weekend…
If going to Hawaii’s North Shore and the luxurious, oceanfront Turtle Bay Resort isn’t incentive enough, try the second annual Oahu Jazz & Blues Festival. The festival features past island favorites, including Grammy-nominated saxophonist Bobby Watson, Grammy-winning trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, three-time Grammy-winning blues guitarist Joe Louis Walker (Everybody Wants A Piece), and New Orleans stars of HBO’s “Treme,” The Iguanas.
Most of the featured bands have played neighbor island festivals in the past, but are new to Oahu’s. New to any of the island festivals is DownBeat Critics Poll winner many times over, guitarist Bobby Broom, and Kansas City jazz vocalist Pam Baskin Watson.
(The Examiner has closed, and the remainder of the review is no longer available)
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Bobby Broom and his trio during the Chicago Jazz Festival, in 2014. (Nuccio DiNuzzo / Chicago Tribune)
By Howard Reich
Last summer, Chicago guitarist Bobby Broom put together a new organ trio at the behest of Steely Dan, which wanted an opening act for its “Jamalot Ever After” tour.
Broom obliged, creating his Organi-Sation, a band that put the jazz guitarist in front of Steely Dan’s huge and devoted audience in a whirlwind three months of performances. But that unit – with Ben Paterson at the organ and Kobie Watkins and Makaya McCraven playing drums on varying dates – hasn’t been performing since the Steely Dan tour.
Until Friday night, when Broom reconvened the musicians for a weekend run at the Green Mill, which launched what amounts to the band’s second act: The trio will open for Steely Dan again at Ravinia on Friday and Saturday, with a recording session to follow.
The Organi-Sation, in other words, is back – and it has brought the 1960s and ’70s with it.
The Hyde Park Jazz Society presents one of Chicago’s top international Jazz performers, guitarist Bobby Broom. The Bobby Broom Trio (bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Greg Artry) is one of America’s top jazz groups. Broom’s “My Shining Hour” (Origin) was the #39 Jazz album of 2014 (JazzWeek).
A chill evening at Room 43 located in the heart of the historic Bronzeville and North Kenwood area. Reserve your place at the space which Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune calls “one of the hippest places to spend a Sunday night!”
Tune into Chicago Jazz Spotlight on WDCB 90.9FM (or listen online) at 9:00p. CDT (GMT-5) An hour-long radio feature with guitarist Bobby Broom, including an interview, a replay of the Steve Rashid presents WDCB LIVE at the Whiskey Lounge performances with the Trio, and a few LIVE solo guitar performances in Studio. Listen LIVE around the world on their streaming broadcast! http://wdcb.org/new-media/internet-streaming.php
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The Bobby Broom Trio performed LIVE at the Whiskey Lounge at 27 Live in Evanston, IL. as part of the series Steve Rashid Presents “WDCB Live at the Whiskey Lounge.” Here is the full broadcast of this very chill trio, with special thanks to Steve Rashid for releasing this! If you like what you see, click here to hit the Demand It! button and bring Bobby to your town!
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