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Alan Broadbent: You and the Night and the Music

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You and the Night and the Music is Alan Broadbent’s 10th piano-trio recording. It comprises seven standards, each addressed with the kind of effortless fluency and suave certainty of style that enables a listener to simply relax and surrender. In Broadbent’s case, “style” is not a surface attribute; it is an approach to melodic and harmonic variation so sophisticated in its decorum that it is not separable from substance. It is an approach in which musical elegance serves to express complex feelings, albeit with a gentleman’s restraint.

“I Wish I Knew” is first enfolded in elaborate embellishments that continually reference the thread of the theme. Subtle tension accumulates as rapt urgency gathers but is held in check. After Brian Bromberg’s long, twisting, sliding dance of a bass solo, there is a revelatory moment when Broadbent reenters in a single-note ascension that insists on the song while releasing it.

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