This exceptionally eloquent veteran pianist started his career in Auckland, New Zealand, and eventually took to the road on the global stage most memorably with Woody Herman, Natalie Cole, and Charlie Haden’s Quartet West; when he moved to the east coast a few years ago, I was hoping that meant he would be seen in New York clubs more regularly, but it still hasn’t happened as often as I’d like. He’s roughly in the same vein of abundant melody, rapturous harmony, and unflinching modernism as Bill Evans and Fred Hersch, but he’s possibly even more graceful and lyrical. Also a remarkable arranger and composer, Mr. Broadbent shows his versatility in varying between settings with the smallest accompaniment possible (as on his 2013 solo album Heart to Heart) and the largest (as on the 2017 Developing Story with the London Metropolitan Orchestra). At some point, I would love to hear him in Carnegie, playing some of his large-format arrangements with a full orchestra, but other than that, I can’t imagine a better way to hear him that with a Trio in the beautifully intimate setting of Mezzrow. With Don Falzone (bass) and Billy Mintz (drums).
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