Since gaining fame as a member of Charlie Haden's excellent Quartet West, Alan Broadbent has seen his own catalog rise in stature. A welcome development, since a wider audience should check out the many fine recordings this unique pianist/composer/arranger has made. And in spite of the admission that his highly lyrical bent and soft touch come out of the work of Bill Evans, Red Garland, and Nat "King" Cole, among others, Broadbent is able to produce fresh solo conceptions and plenty of original material of his own. In fact, as the title implies, Personal Standards consists almost entirely of self-penned cuts, save for one by bassist Putter Smith. (This seamless piano trio is rounded out by drummer Joe LaBarbera.) Along with material also heard on various Quartet West recordings like "The Long Goodbye" and "Song of Home," the disc features a nice mix of ballads ("Ballad Impromptu"), mid- to up-tempo swingers ("Consolation"), as well as some blues ("Uncertain Terms"). And even though Broadbent favors slow and melancholy numbers, he can still vigorously turn on the technique, especially on the faster numbers here. In addition to his solo piano outing for the Maybeck Recital Hall series, Personal Standards offers a great introduction to Broadbent's work.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook