Sunday, August 21, 2011


The past few years, guitar player Bobby Broom has been in shout out mode. In 2009, he put out Bobby Broom Plays for Monk. The album was a shout out to Thelonious Monk, and it was a pretty good take on some of Monk’s timeless songs. Broom is a laid-back guitar player by nature. That can easily be mistaken as boring, which honestly Broom can be at times.

To his credit, Broom has done his best playing with Sonny Rollins. Most of the time, Rollins prefers guitar players over piano players. And because Rollins has stuck with Broom since the mid-80's is a testament to his worth. 

Last week, Origin Records put out Wonderful!, a shout out to Motown legend Stevie Wonder by the Deep Blue Organ Trio. Broom co-captains the DBOT with organ player Chris Foreman, and drummer Greg Rockingham

For Wonderful!, the DBOT cherry picked nine songs from the Stevie Wonder songbook, for example Tell Me Something Good, If You Really Love Me, and You’ve Got it Bad Girl. Broom wrote all the arrangements. And clearly the DBOT tried hard to put a jazz spin on Wonder’s hits, but the DBOT failed.

Wonderful! lacked excitement and soul. Broom and Foreman are the blame. (Rockingham gets a pass, but his drumming was nothing to write home about.) Broom's arrangements are stiff.

Foreman is an easygoing organ player. He opened up the throttle some on You Haven’t Done Nothin’. But on the other songs it seemed as if he syphoned all the soul out of his organ. The DBOT clearly had the best intentions when they made Wonderful!, but they did not go deep enough.
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