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Bobby Broom : The Way I Play

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If you want a jazz definition of “stretching out,” listen to this live album, in which we find Bobby Broom’s longtime trio elongating and compressing familiar melodies and the beat in exploratory fashion. Without trying to pin jazz down, it’s tempting to say this is the way jazz should be, at least in terms of inventiveness. The music and the modus operandi are fascinating.

The album originated when one of Broom’s former students presented him with minidiscs of several of the trio’s weekly gigs from 2007 at Pete Miller’s, a steakhouse in Evanston, Ill. For Broom, the choicest performances turned out to be standards: “Strike Up the Band,” “Donna Lee,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Unit 7” and others the trio plays every gig. Familiarity breeds intimacy and creativity, in this case. No complacency anywhere.

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