You and the Night and the Music;
I Wish I Knew;
With the Wind and the Rain in her Hair;
Baubles, Bangles, and Beads;
Alan Broadbent - piano
Brian Bromberg - bass
Joe LaBarbera - drums
Recorded at Castle Oaks Studios, Los Angeles, California on March 15 & 16, 2002. Includes liner notes by Steven Graybow. Best known for his arrangements for Michael Feinstein and Mel Torme, Alan Broadbent sets out here to showcase his formidable piano skills. Teamed up with drummer Joe La Barbera and bassist Brian Bromberg, Broadbent performs in the style of classic trio jazz. Unlike the highly exploratory albums of Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau, and other post-modern players, Broadbent's work recalls the work of such disparate pianists as Dick Hyman, Oscar Peterson, and George Shearing. To this end, Broadbent uses full chordal voicings and extensive left-hand counterpoint; it is apparent that he is quite a virtuoso. Key selections on this album include the title track, which is performed here as an energetic bossa nova number, and the equally hot "With the Wind and the Rain in Her Hair." The latter features a particularly adroit bass solo from Bromberg and a characteristically deft drum break from La Barbera. Broadbent himself steps outside the box on this number, proving that he can sound quite contemporary when the mood strikes him.
The two-time Grammy winning arranger (for Natalie Cole and Charlie Haden featuring Shirley Horn) is used to working with big band charts and multi-harmonic orchestral arrangements, but at heart he's a pianist with a great love for standards and all things jazz. The idea on this beautiful trio date is to go small, strip down to the basics of seven classics and see what he -- long a believer in the often unpredictable joys of improvisation -- can do with the swinging help of bassist Brian Bromberg and drummer Joe La Barbera. For those who love piano trio music, the answer is, quite a lot. The tunes range in time from six-and-a-half to nine minutes, plenty of time to have intricate emotional conversations that dash on unexpected journeys. The title track starts out like a ballad, but within minutes becomes a spirited, jaunty stroll with rushes of flurried ivories keeping pace above the brushes and Bromberg's cool throb. They play "I Wish I Knew" a little simpler, as a graceful romance, but pick up the pace with the odd locomotive meters and snappy basslines of "With the Wind and the Rain in Her Hair." "What's New" begins with a low register cadenza underpinning some wild upper register movement before settling into a tender, reflective pocket. It's beautifully played, but the most remarkable feature is the choice of material which draws more obscure selections from familiar names. All the more open palette for the trio to play with.