The Sheldon's "Notes From Home" series is an invaluable showcase for local talent, from chamber groups and rock bands to bluegrass pickers and gospel choirs. But every so often, "Notes" maestro Dale Benz throws us a curve ball by bringing in an up-and-coming regional act. This Tuesday, Benz broadens the scope of the series even further with a performance featuring jazz guitarist Bobby Broom.
Broom has worked out of the Chicago area for several years, but his musical résumé includes stints with Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Art Blakeyand Dr. John. Growing up in Harlem, Broom was more interested in playing funk riffs than in learning jazz chords. Listening to a George Benson record put the 15-year-old Broom firmly back on the jazz track. Less than a year later, Broom's talent so impressed Rollins that the tenor-sax legend asked the high-schooler's parents for permission to take him on tour. Broom's folks declined, and he enrolled at the Berklee College of Music instead. By 20, he'd become a pro, gigging with Blakey's Jazz Messengers and cutting his debut recording on GRP, Clean Sweep.
After finally working with Rollins and playing a few gigs with Miles, Broom spent six years with Dr. John before deciding to head back to jazz -- and to head his own group. The results have been impressive. Stand!, Broom's latest recording on Premonition, features jazz-trio workouts of classic rock tunes -- from the Sly and the Family Stone title cut to versions of "Layla," "Monday, Monday" and the Beatles' "I Will." Broom, bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Dana Hall reflect interesting bop angles off these familiar tunes, making the music appealing to fans of jazz and pop alike.