Alan Broadbent – Every Time I Think of You – Artistry Music

by | Oct 5, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

Alan Broadbent – Every Time I Think of You – Artistry Music ART 7011, 60:38 *****:

(Alan Broadbent, piano & arrangements; Brian Bromberg, doublebass; Kendall Kay, drums; The Tokyo Strings)

The talented pianist, composer and arranger – with two Grammies to his credit – has put together a piano & string section album that should please jazz purists as well as those listeners more in the lighter jazz area.  I knew I would dig this disc when I read Broadbent’s quote saying “Usually the strings sweeten songs with the chords playing in the background, but I like using the strings expressively like how Stan Getz used them on his early 60s album “Focus.”  Well, since that happens to be my hands-down favorite modern jazz album of all time, it was easy to award five stars to Broadbent’s effort!

He feels the strings can be the most expressive of instruments, and he uses them to give the songs he’s arranged every deeper expression than would be possible with just a piano trio. The CD opens with two minutes of lush strings before you even hear his piano.  Several of Broadbent’s heroes in music are represented in his choices of the ten tracks. Gershwin’s Bess, Oh Where’s My Bess stresses the sense of loss, Blue in Green honors his favorite composer – Bill Evans, Bill Holiday is conjured up by Lover Man, and East 32nd Elegy is a tribute to Lenny Tristano, with whom Broadbent studied. Most of the tracks are more lyrical and even melancholy in nature, but Nirvana Blues is an upbeat blues in bossa nova style, with three-part counterpoint. Broadbent had in mind driving along the Big Sur coastline of central California.

The balance and blend of the piano trio and strings is first rate.  Broadbent plays a handmade Seiler piano.

Tracks: Autumn Variations, Bess Oh Where’s My Bess, Blue in Green, E. 32nd Elegy, Last Night When We Were Young, Every Time I Think of You, Lover Man, Nirvana Blues, Spring is Here, Woody ‘n’ Me.

 – John Henry 

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