Personnel: Bobby Broom (guitar).
Audio Mixer: Brian Schwab.
Recording information: Victorian Recording, Barrington, IL (01/17/2011-01/19/2011).
One of the top guitarists of his generation, Bobby Broom's preferred setting is a small group, while he excels in the demanding trio setting with bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Kobie Watkins (with Makaya McCraven replacing him on three songs). Upper West Side Story includes nine originals, none of which is likely to become a jazz standard, but all of which are stimulating. "D's Blues" has an engaging hard bop hook that pulls the listener in immediately, while "Upper West Side Story" suggests a walk in Manhattan on a breezy spring day, with an infectious Latin undercurrent. The loping "Minor Major Mishap" takes its time to develop, though Broom's intricate solo bustles with energy. "Fambrosicous" is dedicated to the late bassist Charles Fambrough, an engaging vehicle that starts as bop but detours into some wild improvising. "When the Falling Leaves..." is a subdued ballad with a melancholy air, with the rhythm section providing soft, spacious accompaniment that completes the mood that Broom seeks. Recommended. ~ Ken Dryden