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Bobby Broom

Bobby Broom

By all accounts, guitarist and composer Bobby Broom should be a household name. He emerged on the scene in his mid-teens by gigging with the great pianists Al Haig and Walter Bishop Jr.-both of whom played with Charlie Parker. Sonny Rollins asked the teenage guitarist to tour with him, but since Broom was still in high school, he opted to stay home and play at Carnegie Hall with Donald Byrd. Broom’s résumé continues with a who’s who list of jazz greats such as Max Roach, Kenny Burrell, David Murray and Art Blakey, who was so impressed with him that he invited Broom to join his famed Jazz Messengers.

“Blakey asked me both to join his band-to do a tour of Europe-and record,” recalls Broom. “I decided not to go because there was another buzz happening in town around trumpet player Tom Browne. A bunch of my musical buddies were already active in this circle when I returned from school. They were touring and recording and I wanted in on that.” With Browne, Broom recorded the 1979 GRP album Love Approach, which yielded Browne’s seminal block-party rocker “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” Two years later Broom released his GRP debut, Clean Sweep, which yielded the underground 12-inch single, “Saturday Night.”

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