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The Bobby Broom Organi-Sation

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Side Door Jazz Club

85 Lyme Street

Old Lyme, CT 06371

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Bobby Broom - guitar
Ben Paterson - keys
Kobie Watkins - drums

Guitarist Bobby Broom’s love of jazz has never blocked out his affection for the pop music which he grew up with. It’s been a frequent wellspring throughout his career.

“It’s a lot of what I do,” he acknowledges. “Material is material, and I’m just trying to do things that are interesting to me and that I feel might be interesting to people.”

Soul Fingers, his joyful 2018 release with his organ trio The Organi-Sation, produced by legendary drummer Steve Jordan, presents a whole album’s worth of such interesting things.

Drawn from Broom’s favorite songs of his childhood in the 1960s and ’70s, the album runs the gamut from The Beatles and Procul Harum to Bobbie Gentry and Motown.

It’s a path that has won Broom an impressive following, and significant acclaim, both within and outside his home base of Chicago.

Chicago Tribune critic Howard Reich hails the guitarist as “offer[ing] an object lesson in what an inventive jazz musician can do with a familiar song.”

Indeed, Soul Fingers is not Broom’s first album-length assay of the music of his youth. 2001’s Stand! took on pop hits of the 1960s. The new record leans toward the ’70s—with renewed perspective.

“The difference between Stand! and Soul Fingers is, frankly, nearly twenty years of life,” Broom says. “Hopefully that means that much more depth for me as an artist. I would hope that all of my experiences play a part in my ability to bring my new music to the table, and present it to the public in a way that’s even more convincing, heartfelt, and nuanced.”

Not to be overlooked is Broom’s exploration of these tunes with a new ensemble, featuring the deft, soulful organist Ben Paterson and shrewd drummer Kobie Watkins. The Organi-Sation, brought together as an opening act for Steely Dan’s 2014 summer tour, quickly developed a chemistry that Broom describes as “a wonderful surprise. It was incredible how much this new group jelled, and the level of music that we were able to make.”

The camaraderie is apparent within a few bars of the album-opening “Come Together.” Broom loved the inherent groove of the Lennon/McCartney classic, but wanted to try it with a stepped-up tempo. “I knew Ben and Kobie would swing it to death, and that’s what happened,” he says. “The cool thing about it is its seamlessness between funk and swing.”

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Side Door Jazz Club

85 Lyme Street

Old Lyme, CT 06371

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