Bobby Broom Introduces New Group, The Organi-Sation With Debut Recording “Soul Fingers”
Virtuoso Chicago-based guitarist Bobby Broom has always embraced the rhythm and blues core of jazz music. On Soul Fingers, his 12th album as a leader and first with his new trio Organi-Sation, Broom mines the rich repository of ’60s and ’70s pop music, offering inspired versions of hits by the Beatles, Procol Harum, Steely Dan, and Seals & Crofts, among others. Released in October, 2018, the recording was produced by legendary drummer Steve Jordan.
While developing Soul Fingers, Broom realized the ideas he was coming up with required the help of an outside producer. “The process was so different than other records I’ve done,” he says. “I got more involved in its preproduction. I was hearing horns and a bunch of different textures, so at some point I said, ‘I need help with this one.’ I immediately thought of Steve because of the soul music sound I was feeling.”
Organist Ben Paterson and drummer Kobie Watkins join Broom in Organi-Sation, the core unit on the album and Broom’s current band. During the three months the trio spent in 2014 opening for Steely Dan, they developed a musical synchronicity Broom found “a wonderful surprise. We really solidified our chemistry on that tour, so it was like a hand-in-glove kind of thing going into this session.”
Soul Fingers opens with the Lennon/McCartney gem “Come Together” taken at a stepped-up tempo that Broom knew his trio-mates “would swing to death .” Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” features the guitarist’s 7/4 funk arrangement and his horn charts for saxophonist Ron Blake and trumpeter Chris Rogers. Other highlights include a shuffle-swing version of Steely Dan ‘s “Do It Again” and a bossa nova-infused version of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on which the leader is joined by Brazilian acoustic guitarists Sergio Pires and Luciano Antonio. The 1966 Temptations hit “Get Ready” has an Afro-pop feel, while Broom’s version of Procol Harum’s 1967 baroque pop hit “Whiter Shade of Pale” simmers with soul.