|Birth name||Robert Broom, Jr.|
|Born||January 18, 1961|
|Origin||New York City, United States|
Criss Cross Jazz
|Associated acts||Deep Blue Organ Trio
Bobby Broom (born January 18, 1961), birthname Robert Broom, Jr., is an American jazz guitarist, composer and educator born and raised in New York City. Broom performs and records with jazz saxophone legend Sonny Rollins as well as his Bobby Broom Trio and the Deep Blue Organ Trio. While versed in the bebop idiom, Broom, like many current artists, draws from a variety of American music forms such as funk, soul, R&B and the blues to create his style.
Broom began studying the guitar at age 12, taking lessons in the American Folk music style. A year later, he began studies with jazz guitarist Jimmy Carter in Harlem, where he took weekly lessons for the next two years. His interest in jazz began in earnest at age 15 and as a result he began his research, study and practice of the jazz art.
Broom attended the High School of Music and Art (now known as Laguardia High School of Performing Arts), where he played in the jazz ensemble and received an award for Outstanding Jazz Improvisation during his senior year.
Broom began his career while still in high school, performing at New York clubs with Charlie Parker pianists, Al Haig and Walter Bishop Junior. In 1977 he played at Carnegie Hall in a concert with Sonny Rollins and special guest Donald Byrd.
He went to the Berklee School of Music from 1978–79, then returned to New York in order to pursue his career while attending Long Island University. At this time he began working in New York as guitarist for Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Dave Grusin, Hugh Masekela and Tom Browne, eventually landing his own recording contract with GRP Records.
With his personal approach to the musical legacy that influenced him, Bobby Broom has become one of the premiere guitarists in jazz today. “Broom has one of the few truly recognizable styles among modern guitarists, and one of the most satisfying solo concepts in mainstream jazz,” wrote critic Neil Tesser in the Chicago Jazz Music Examiner. The groundwork laid by his childhood jazz-guitar heroes, Wes Montgomery, early George Benson and Pat Martino and others such as Kenny Burrell and Grant Green, influenced Broom to pursue a career that has included work with Art Blakey, Max Roach, Stanley Turrentine, Kenny Garrett, Miles Davis, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charles Earland, Dr. John, Kenny Burrell, Eric Alexander, Ron Carter and Ramsey Lewis, among others.
Born in Harlem (1960s) and raised on New York City's Upper West Side (1970s), in the mid 1980s Broom relocated to Chicago where he went on to tour and record with many of the aforementioned musicians. In Chicago, he also formed the Bobby Broom Trio in 1990 and the Deep Blue Organ Trio in 1999.
Among Bobby Broom's recordings as a leader is his trio's 2001 release, Stand!, a recording of unlikely interpretations of 60s and 70s pop and soul classics which received praise for staying true to the creative demands of authentic modern jazz. Jambands online magazine writes: "Stand!"'s theme works well for Broom — it adds accessibility to the set without getting in the way of documenting a skilled trio in its natural element. Further examples of Broom's foray into the developing American Song Book can be found on his other recent recordings as well as on recordings by The Deep Blue Organ Trio (see discography).
As an educator, Broom began his work in 1982 for Jackie McLean, Director of African American Music at Studies for the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. Over the years Broom has also been a lecturer/instructor at the American Conservatory of Music (1986–1990), Chicago Musical College — Roosevelt University (1990–1994), The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz (1987), DePaul University (2002–2008) and most recently at North Park University. He currently instructs and coaches Chicago area high school students for the Ravinia Festival Organization — Jazz Mentor Community Outreach Program, as well as the Thelonious Monk Institute.
In 2005, while developing his career as a leader, attending Northwestern University for his masters degree in jazz pedagogy and teaching at DePaul, Broom rejoined Sonny Rollins touring band as a regular member for the second time in his career (his first tenure with the jazz legend was from 1982-1987). He performed and recorded with Rollins until the spring of 2010. During this tenure Broom continued to increase his visibility as a leader, producing three recordings under his own name and another with the Deep Blue Organ Trio (their third). His latest trio record and Broom's eighth lead album, released on June 16, 2009, Bobby Broom Plays for Monk explores the music composed and performed by jazz icon, Thelonious Monk. The trio of Broom, bassist Dennis Carroll, and drummer Kobie Watkins "...turns what could have easily been a pedestrian "tribute" record into an inspired, swinging affair", says Jon Regan in Billboard magazine. And Ted Gioia of Jazz.com writes: "Broom shows again that he is one of the most musical guitarists of our times..."
Broom's latest trio release, "Upper West Side Story" (Origin Records, May 2012), is his first of exclusively original material. Along with regular trio members Carroll and Watkins, the recording introduces the exciting young drummer, Makaya McCraven, as a Bobby Broom Trio member.
- Clean Sweep, 1981 GRP/Arista Records
- 1961, 1993 (Unreleased)
- No Hype Blues, 1995 Criss Cross Jazz
- Waiting and Waiting, 1997 Criss Cross Jazz
- Stand, 2001 Premonition Records
- Modern Man, 2001 Delmark Records
- Song and Dance, 2007 Origin Records
- The Way I Play, 2008 Origin Records
- Bobby Broom Plays for Monk, 2009 Origin Records
- Upper West Side Story, 2012 Origin Records
With Sonny Rollins
- Road Shows, Volume 1, 2009 Doxy Records
- Sonny, Please, 2006 Doxy Records
- Reel Life, 1983 Fantasy Records
- No Problem, 1981 Fantasy Records
With Deep Blue Organ Trio
- Wonderful!, 2011 Origin Records
- Folk Music, 2007 Origin Records
- Goin' To Town — Live at the Green Mill, 2006 Delmark Records CD and DVD
- Deep Blue Bruise, 2004 Delmark Records
With David Murray
- The Tip, 1994 DIW
- Jug-A-Lug, 1994 DIW
- Duke Elegant, 2000 Blue Note Records (with Dr. John)
- Eric Alexander in Europe, 1995 Criss Cross Jazz
- Cubism, 1992 Fresh Sound Records (with Ronnie Cuber)
- Third Degree Burn, 1989 Milestone Records (with Charles Earland)
- Front Burner, 1988 Milestone Records (with Charles Earland)
- Pieces of Blue and The Blues, 1987 Blue Note Records (Kenny Burrell & The Jazz Guitar Band)
- Generation, 1986 Blue Note Records (Kenny Burrell & The Jazz Guitar Band, w/ Rodney Jones)
- Livin' For The Beat, 1984 Arista Records
- Home Again, 1982 Elektra Records (with Stanley Turrentine)
- Pied Piper, 1981 GRP/Arista Records (with Dave Valentine)
- Love Approach, 1981 GRP/Arista Records (with Tom Browne)
- Orange Express, 1981 Sony Japan (with Sadao Watanabe)
- Dave Grusin and the GRP All Stars Live in Japan, 1980 GRP/Arista Records