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.”