“Keyed Up” enjoyed significant radio play, making it one of the most heard jazz records in the U.S. during the first six months following its release. JazzWeek is the chart that gathers the reported “spins” from upwards of two hundred jazz radio stations included in the nation-wide network. “Keyed up” peaked at #7 amid some serious company. In its 19 weeks on the chart, 14 were in the top 20.
Never one to shy away from an opportunity to exercise his technological acumen, Bobby took VG up on their offer to promote Keyed Up with a homemade video. So, he edited the multitrack masters muting his recorded guitar, omitting the keyboard solo (“I kinda hated doing that,” he lamented), and playing along to create a new version for the occasion.
The result is what you hear here and was featured online in December, along with a record review in the physical magazine’s 2022 edition of the same month.
Since 1955, the Voice of America radio network has been sending the message of jazz throughout regions of the globe, from Africa to the former Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc countries such as Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia), and last but not least, Cuba. Its former one hour show has featured legendary jazz figures like Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Sara Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The show has been revamped, adding new jazz host Dan Bindert, Station Manager and former DJ at Chicago’s jazz station, WDCB. For the new show series called, “Jazz from the heart of America,” Bindert recently produced an episode with Bobby as his spotlight guest, presenting Broom in an interview and playing music from “Keyed Up,” as well as vintage and more recent cuts by Sonny Rollins which featured Bobby on guitar.
Since 1955, the Voice of America radio network has been sending messages of jazz throughout regions of the globe, from Africa to the former Soviet Union, the Eastern Bloc countries such as Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia), and last but not least, Cuba. It’s former one hour show has featured legendary jazz figures like Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Sara Vaughn, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald.
The show has been revamped, adding new jazz host Dan Bindert, Station Manager and former DJ at Chicago’s jazz station, WDCB. Bindert recently produced an episode with Bobby Broom as his spotlight guest, presenting Broom in an interview and playing music from “Keyed Up,” as well as vintage and more recent cuts by Sonny Rollins which featured Bobby on guitar.
Bobby talks about how he prepared for my new album release, Keyed Up – including practice methods on the opening song (Bud Powell’s “Hallucinations”), and the use of technology as a way to aid and inspire practice. Keyed Up release date: September 23, 2022 Pre-order the new album here:https://a.co/d/ixjEcOX
My heart is full today as I announce my appointment to Associate Professor with tenure at NIU. This milestone in my career as a jazz musician and educator reminds me of the blessing of having two parents that embodied the spirit of perseverance that is encoded in the DNA of the African American.
Dad, was from an immediate family of Florida “farmers” according to census records (which was probably a euphemism for sharecroppers), with grandparents who were slaves; and mom, was from Appalachian coal-country in West Virginia.
Not advancing past the 6th grade, in the early 1930s as a teen, Dad had the ‘opportunity’ to work for President Roosevelt’s “Civilian Conservation Corps” https://bit.ly/3u9Cd5P in Florida. Somewhere along the way, he had a mentor that imparted the knowledge that “no matter what, no one is better than you.” As a working family man and father, he imbued everything he did (including raising me) with that notion of dignity.
Mom came up through the grueling, 1930s McDowell County, WV system of coal-mining–with its dangerous work conditions, farcical company store, and nefarious “Cinder Bottom” red-light district https://bit.ly/3bFsIoA. Gifted with intellect, vision, and inclined toward education, she rose above seemingly hopeless conditions to wind up in NYC where she received a Master of Arts degree in Education and became a respected NYC junior high school English teacher.
These two stellar examples of fortitude and the inherent resilience of Black folk–in addition to being the ones responsible for giving birth to my Capricorn nature—were my very first models. They set the stage, and rehearsed and groomed me to play my part in life.
Thank you to Northern Illinois University for recognizing my worth in my field and allowing me to be of service. Thank you Maureen Broom for your undying love, faith and investment in me. Thank you to all of my mentors throughout my life and career–Weldon Irvine, Sonny Rollins, Jackie McLean, Paul Jeffrey, Kenny Burrell, Bernie Dobroski, Craig Bailey, and Reggie Thomas. All of your support, encouragement, and belief in me helped to foster my continued belief in myself.
(Pictured is my grandmother, Leila, with six of her nine kids in around 1925. Dad, Robert, Sr., was the youngest boy on the bottom left.
Comenzó a tocar la guitarra a la edad de 13 años, pero no le interesó el jazz hasta que escuchó a Grover Washington Jr. y George Benson. Los estudios de Broom ampliaron sus intereses y también aprendió a tocar el bajo, pero fue el linaje de la guitarra jazz aquello que llamó más su atención. Alejándose de las influencias del rock y la fusión de los años 70, se concentró en la herencia guitarrística de músicos como Wes Montgomery y Grant Green. Broom estudió durante un año en Berklee College Of Music, luego regresó a Nueva York donde se le ofreció la oportunidad de trabajar con el trompetista de jazz funk Tom Browne y también con Jazz Messengers de Art Blakey. A principios de los 80 estuvo con Sonny Rollins. Reanudó sus estudios a mediados de los 80, luego tocó con Kenny Burrell y Miles Davis. En los 90 y el nuevo milenio, Broom siguió siendo muy buscado, su estilo y gustos eclécticos le permitieron trabajar en muchos géneros ofreciendonos siempre una mezcla con muy buenos resultados.