Staying refreshingly clear of any grandiose new standards pronouncements, Bobby Broom arranged a host of sunny '60s/'70s R&B and pop tunes for Stand! (Premonition 6691790754 2 6; 65:14) not only because the recognizable melodies connect with an audience, but also because, ostensibly, he likes them. It's hard to figure just how much he likes them, however, because he doesn't seem engaged with most of the material or even the other guys in the trio. After Modern Man, Broom's steaming Delmark release from last year, Stand! is a bit of a disappointment, and it starts at the top: a murky rendition of the title track that may be the gloomiest cover of that Sly Stone anthem ever recorded. That tune sets the mood for the rest of the CD, as Broom turns out one muted performance after another.
Broom's trio mates, Dennis Carroll on bass and Dana Hall on drums, play it loose. That doesn't benefit the pop material, which can be pulled apart only so much. Broom seems to want a tighter context as well, and his bluesy, single-line playing seems at odds with the rhythm section a great deal of the time. The recording bottoms out with a take on the cloying "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," but certainly rebounds on a driving "The Letter," which, unfortunately, comes a little too late to salvage Stand!