Bobby Broom

Stand!

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Many jazz snobs would never dream of recording anything by Sly & the Family Stone, the Beatles, or the Mamas & Papas. They suffer from the delusion that worthwhile popular music died with Cole Porter and George Gershwin, and they refuse to believe that a rock or R&B song could have anything to offer a jazz improviser. But not everyone who plays straight-ahead jazz is an elitist jazz snob; saxman Ken Peplowski is a major Beatles fan, and guitarist Russell Malone is proud of the fact that his CD collection has everything from PFunk to honky tonk. Although Stand! is a straight-ahead jazz release that focuses on popular songs, it doesn't contain any overdone Tin Pan Alley standards. Instead, guitarist Bobby Broom turns his attention to rock and soul hits of the 1960s and 1970s, putting a hard bop or post-bop spin on everything from Sly Stone's "Stand" and the Beatles' "I Will" to the Turtles' "Happy Together" and the Mamas & Papas' "Monday, Monday." Stand! (which finds Broom forming a trio with acoustic bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Dana Hall) is not a commercial album; it is as straight-ahead, as improvisatory, and as intellectual as any other album that he has recorded. Thus, anyone who expects Broom to provide note-for-note covers will be disappointed. "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You," for example, gets a serious makeover. While Franki Valli's hit version of 1967 was slow and sentimental, Broom's is fast, hard-swinging, and unsentimental. Some Valli fans might even consider Broom's version an act of musical heresy -- unless, of course, they are Valli fans who have eclectic tastes and comprehend the more complex, cerebral styles of jazz. If so, they will have to acknowledge that Stand! is among Broom's finest accomplishments.

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