Bobby Broom Trio | Green Mill | Jazz | Chicago Reader

Bobby Broom Trio Recommended Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Fri., Aug. 7, 9 p.m. and Sat., Aug. 8, 8 p.m. 2009

Arguably the finest mainstream jazz combo in town, the trio led by guitarist Bobby Broom used its two most recent studio albums—Stand! (2001) and Song and Dance (2007)—to make a case for modern pop songs as worthy material for an improvising band. The new Bobby Broom Plays for Monk (Origin), on the other hand, is devoted to tunes either written by or associated with one of the most influential and important figures in jazz, and Broom, bassist Dennis Carroll, and drummer Kobie Watkins tackle the pianist’s hallowed compositions without changing their band’s lean sound. Broom doesn’t attempt to precisely emulate the jagged rhythms and tangled melodies of Monk’s own performances, instead conveying the essence of each song in a new form that’s subtly transformed by his velvety fluidity and grace. Carroll and Watkins lubricate “In Walked Bud” with a sly, unobtrusive funk groove, allowing Broom’s blues-touched lines to glide elegantly over the top; in their hands the midtempo hard-bop workout “Ask Me Now” becomes a sophisticated ballad. These veteran players have no need to prove themselves fluent in the canon, and indeed they’re doing something quite a bit more impressive with this album—they manage to put an individual stamp on Monk’s ubiquitous and instantly recognizable tunes without wrecking their unique beauty. —Peter Margasak

Price: $12

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