NPR: Nightsounds’ Favorite Albums of 2018


Bobby Broom     “Soul Fingers”

This is the type of record I love and what I have advocated for jazz players forever.  A well-chosen playlist of classic rock, soul and pop music; rendered in a breezy and confident style.  Broom is the tastiest of the tasteful soul-jazz six stringers, and herein with his “Organi-sation” an organ-based trio, he chooses familiar tunes, tweaks time signatures, slows down and gives ample room for his fretwork and Ben Paterson on Hammond B-3 to scoot and show-off without the pyrotechnic indulgence.

“Ode to Billie Joe” is a soul-jazz strut, instantly hummable and splashed with brass flourishes and enhanced with a sterling vibes solo by Justin Thomas. Steely Dan’s radio Staple “Do It Again” receives a loping swing, with Broom picking the melody and solos with restraint but precision.

The highlight is the odd choice of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” – sublime in Paterson’s crawling organ underpinning and then Broom plucking out half-woozy staggering notes to mimic the original song’s vocals – euphonic and splendid – a twilight harkening favorite at our house all of 2018….and today.

Wonderfully straight-ahead jazz, covering songs that are refreshed by the breezy tempos and savvy approachable arrangements.