CD review: Alan Broadbent – Broadbent plays Brubeck (feat. London Metropolitan Strings) 2021: Video, CD cover

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All songs composed by Dave Brubeck except „Theme for June“, composed by Howard Brubeck.

“Broadbent plays Brubeck” is a return to Alan Broadbent’s beginnings.

In 1961 when Alan was 14 he found Howard Brubeck’s transcriptions, in two volumes, of Dave Brubeck’s solo album “Brubeck plays Brubeck” in a music store in Auckland, New Zealand. By this time he was aware of Dave Brubeck as “Take 5” was the rage on the radio, even in the then remote corner of the world where Alan lived.

He had no idea how the music was supposed to be played, having no reference to Dave’s LP, which was impossible to find anyway. So being a good sight reader, Alan began to play the pieces as written, without any knowledge of, or feeling for, jazz rhythm. From the first pages, beginning with “The Duke”, to the last, “Swing Bells”, Alan was enthralled with the harmony and melodies. He had never heard such rich and beautiful chord progressions before. So he played his heart out, lingering over passages, savoring a chord here, dwelling on a bar there, finding meaning and expression in the music that Dave probably didn’t know was there. In fact, many years later, before the youtube encyclopedia of music, Broadbent finally got his hands on an old, well-worn, LP and was surprised, shocked really, at how Dave would nonchalantly rush through a bar that he had had a religious experience with.

Then Alan found the music to “Strange Meadowlark” and others that he has included in “Broadbent plays Brubeck”, as well as one by Dave’s brother, Howard; a tribute to him and his hard work (without the aid of digital devices!) that enabled that young fellow down under to revel in the music.

Alan Broadbent has sought, in his arrangements, to recreate those feelings about these pieces that have never left him in all these years and to offer another dimension to them through the expressiveness of the peerless musicians of The London Metropolitan String Orchestra.

Again “Broadbent plays Brubeck” is a dream come true album for 2-time Grammy Award winner Alan Broadbent, much like Alan’s earlier Album „Developing Story“.

Long time partner and close friend Ralf Kemper, a Grammy winning producer, invited Alan again to record „Broadbent plays Brubeck“ at Abbey Road Studios in London. Alan accepted and the recording took place in 2018 at the famous Abbey Road Studio 2. Alan recorded the piano part a little later at Ralf’s Riverside Studios Cologne in Germany.

Alan has received 14 Grammy Award nominations and won 2 Grammy Awards for “Best Orchestral Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal”, one for Natalie Cole and one for Shirley Horn. He was nominated for “Best Improvised Jazz Solo” alongside Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

Alan has arranged and conducted for Sir Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Pat Metheny, Linda Ronstadt, Michael Bublé and many more.

1. The Duke (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
2. One Moment Worth Years (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
3. Bossa Nova USA (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
4. Summer Song (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
5. Blue Rondo A La Turk (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
6. Strange Meadowlark (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
7. In Your Own Sweet Way (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
8. Weep No More (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
9. When I Was Young (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
10. Theme for June (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)
11. Home at Last (feat. London Metropolitan Strings)

Alan Broadbent – arranger, conductor & piano
Harvie S – bass
Hans Dekker – drums
David Juritz – Concertmaster and Solo Violin on „Strange Meadowlark“
London Metropolitan Strings

Broadbent Plays Brubeck , CD, Release August 24th 2021 | Eden River Records

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