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Alan Broadbent: Every Time I Think of You

Alan Broadbent is a highly accomplished and tasteful pianist who has been ensnared by the siren song that has victimized so many good jazz musicians. The song whispers, “Make an album with strings!”

Strings are so tempting because they are pure refined sugar, and because their massed, sighing presence creates the impression of scale around any jazz soloist. The problem with strings is that their sweetness is usually both cloying and insubstantial, like cotton candy. It is also difficult to mix them into a recording that includes jazz improvisation without either making them too distant and disembodied, or too close and invasive of the soloist’s space. (Here, the strings are somehow both: in the way and not quite relevant.)

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