Friday, July 29, 2011
An unsung hero of the acoustic piano, Alan Broadbent is a highly lyrical and melodic bebopper/post-bopper who has cited Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Tommy Flanagan, Nat "King" Cole, and Red Garland as some of his favorite pianists. Raised in New Zealand, he moved to Boston in 1966 to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. After staying on the road with Woody Herman (for whom he was a writer, arranger, and soloist) from 1969-1972, he settled in Los Angeles. Broadbent went on to work as a sideman for Chet Baker, tenor saxmen Warne Marsh and Gary Foster, and the late singer Irene Kral in the '70s, and with Bud Shank and arranger Nelson Riddle in the '80s. ))The '90s found him writing arrangements for Natalie Cole, Marian McPartland, Scott Hamilton, and others, and playing alongside bassist Charlie Haden, tenor saxman Ernie Watts, and drummer Larance Marable in Haden's Quartet West a unique and conceptual L.A.-based group that is known for including bits of dialogue from film-noir movies between bop performances. Broadbent's excellent trio albums for Discovery in the '80s and Concord in the '90s make it clear that he deserves to be much better known as a soloist.