Alan Broadbent has long been a major force behind the scenes in jazz, whether it was accompanying Irene Kral on some of the most exquisite vocal
albums ever recorded, contributing arrangements to Natalie Cole or playing piano with Charlie Haden’s Quartet West.  ‘Round Midnight, a trio set with
bassist Brian Bromberg and drummer Joe LaBarbera
a, puts the focus on Broadbent’s skills as a pianist and improviser, and the result is one of his
finest recordings to date.

“On my trio recordings,” says the pianist, “I meet up with my musicians and basically ask them what they would like to play.  For ‘Round Midnight, I
wanted to record a couple of my originals and there was a short list of tunes that I was hoping to improvise on, but that is always open to change.  We
had a completely improvised experience and I did not have any preconceptions.  I don’t like overly planned “big band trios,” preferring to concentrate
on interplay and listening to each other.  I’ve known Joe LaBarbera since our Woody Herman days, before he joined Bill Evans.  His impeccable taste,
ability to always swing and quick reactions are well known.  Brian Bromberg I met on a Lee Ritenour jazz date in the 1990s.  He’s a great virtuoso and
always a pleasure to play with.”

Although ‘Round Midnight is a very spontaneous set, the playing is always quite coherent and logical due to the big ears and quick reactions of the
three musicians.  The program begins with Dizzy Gillespie’s “Groovin’ High,” “Serenata” and J.J. Johnson’s “Lament.”  Broadbent’s personal chord
voicings, flawless octave playing and superior accompaniment skills (heard behind Bromberg’s occasional solos) are very much in evidence.  His
harmonically rich and lyrical original “Die Vereinbarling” is dedicated to the music of Vienna and has a wistful melody.  He also wrote “Journey Home”
about his early days playing in New Zealand. Its relaxed theme is catchy and “Journey Home” has a particularly attractive set of chord changes for the
musicians to play over.  “I’m Old Fashioned” is given a particularly inventive interpretation while always keeping the melody in mind.  Asked to pick a
personal favorite performance on the set, Broadbent named “‘Round Midnight” (which builds logically from the opening theme) although the cooking
version of “The Man I Love” that concludes the set is also quite worthy.  “I have favorite moments throughout the disc where there is a phrase I
particularly like.  Overall, this is a good example of how we play together and is one of my favorite personal recordings.”

Born in Aukland, New Zealand, Alan Broadbent remembers two key moments in his early musical development.  “When I was seven or eight, I looked
forward to Sunday morning when the program Sparky and his Magic Piano was on.  The basic story is that Sparky, who does not practice, had a
piano that came to life.  He goes on a concert tour with his magic piano that plays whatever he wants.  I remember hearing him perform Chopin’s
‘Etude #4 in C Sharp Minor,’ a very fast technical piece that is compact and intense.  I felt the power of the music and it led to me studying classical
piano.  As a teenager, I went through my Dad’s sheet music and learned some popular songs.  I had an opportunity to see the Dave Brubeck Quartet
in New Zealand.  I’ll always remember Paul Desmond with Brubeck starting off the concert playing ‘Tangerine,’ a song that I knew, at least the sheet
music version.  The way they played it was so powerful and so inventive that it was another great moment for me and helped lead to me playing jazz.”

While still living in New Zealand as a teenager, Broadbent became a jazz musician although sometimes learning the hard way.  “At the time it was the
tail-end of a strong jazz period in New Zealand.  Mike Nock and his trio used to pummel me into becoming a better jazz player.  My time was a bit corny
and they showed me more about swinging, getting me to listen to Wynton Kelly records.”  When he was 19 in 1966, Broadbent took a 32-day voyage
on a ship to the United States so as to study at Berklee.  While attending Berklee, he worked regularly in a local club in Boston and took private
lessons from Lennie Tristano in New York.  “Lennie was a bit hesitant with me at first, until he realized that I knew his music and really wanted to work
hard.  He had me singing Lester Young solos for two years and working on his exercises.  We became good friends and I learned a lot about life from

Broadbent gained his initial recognition in the jazz world for his piano playing and arrangements during a three-year period with the Woody Herman
Orchestra (1969-72).  “I loved being a part of his band although everything I learned at Berklee went down the drain because it didn’t work with
Woody’s band!  At the time Blood, Sweat and Tears was a huge hit, playing jazz movements inside a rock and roll framework and it seemed like it
would be very adaptable to Woody’s band.  We were playing country clubs and Army bases and the book was not that good so Tony Platka, Bill
Stapleton and I decided that, since there was a prom coming up, we should do some of these more modern songs for Woody.  We wrote all of these
new arrangements and the kids loved it because they knew the tunes, so Woody started having me write for him, suggesting that I write “Blues In The
Night.”  During his Herman years, Broadbent was nominated for Grammy Awards for his work on Children of Lima and Aja.

By 1972 Broadbent had tired of living on the band bus, so he gave his notice and moved to Los Angeles.  After a period of struggle, he hadt a major
break.  “One afternoon in 1974 I got a call to come down to the Beverly Hilton that night for a big band dance gig.  When I went down to the hotel, out
walked Nelson Riddle and I realized I was with his band from the Frank Sinatra days!  It included Shorty Sherock, Harry Klee, Wilbur Schwartz and Milt
Bernhart, all those great guys.  Nelson liked my playing and said that if I could read that well, I should be doing some of his television work. That was
my entrance into the studio scene.”  He worked as Riddle’s pianist for ten years and was on many sessions headed by David Rose, Johnny Mandel
and Henry Mancini.

Since that time, Alan Broadbent has performed and recorded in a countless number of settings.  In addition to his studio work, he is prized by
vocalists for his skills as an accompanist, working with, among others, Sheila Jordan, Sue Raney, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Karrin Allyson, Mary
Stallings, Judy Niemack and Carol Sloane.  However he is most famous for recording three timeless ballad albums with Irene Kral: Where Is Love, Kral
Space and Gentle Rain.  “I’m not aware of lyrics when I’m playing, I never have been.  Instead, I’m listening to how the singer phrases, like I would a
horn player.  I look back on those albums with Irene, which is very sensitive music, as some of my most valuable work.  If nothing else, those records
are something I can leave behind.  It shows that in the best music it’s not about what you play or sing, but what you have to say and feel that is most

Through the years, Alan Broadbent has performed with the who’s who of West Coast jazz including Chet Baker, Warne Marsh, Scott Hamilton, Bud
Shank, Shelly Manne, Bill Berry, Bill Perkins, Gary Foster, Bob Brookmeyer, Jack Sheldon, Don Menza and Pete Christlieb.  He has been a member of
Charlie Haden’s Quartet West since the mid-1980s.  “My first trio album which was made in New Zealand, had been played on the radio in L.A. and
Charlie heard it while he was driving.  He went home, called the station and found out it was me.  He was looking to have a group of local players who
he could take on the road.  It’s always such a fun group.  Ernie Watts played soprano in my saxophone quartet for my recital at Berklee so he was an
old friend, while Charlie had known Larance Marable since he was 15.  I visited Europe for the first time with Quartet West and I consider Charlie
Haden to be the finest bassist I’ve ever played with.  Recently I have been playing with Charlie’s Liberation Music Orchestra, another fun experience.”

As a leader of trios, Broadbent led dates in the past for such labels as Revelation, Discovery, Trend and Concord, including Better Days, Pacific
Standard Time and Personal Standards.  He also recorded a solo piano CD for Concord (Live at Maybeck Hall, Vol.14) as well as a duo CD with
saxophonist Gary Foster, Live At Maybeck.

In addition to all of that work, Alan Broadbent has been active as an arranger and a conductor.  “I got a call one day to go to a studio and there was
Ray Brown and Jeff Hamilton.  They wanted me to play ‘Straighten Up And Fly Right,’ so we did a take.  To my surprise, out came Natalie Cole and,
before I knew it, I was out on the road as part of her Unforgettable tour.  I had an opportunity to write for her, we did three albums together (Take A
Look, Holly and Ivy and Stardust), and since then I’ve been writing for orchestras, most recently for a Steve Tyrell Sinatra project.  I also worked on a
jazz album with Linda Ronstadt and ended up conducting her concerts that used Nelson Riddle orchestrations which are supremely beautiful.”  
Broadbent has also been involved in some of Diana Krall’s music, working as her musical director.  “I have known her since she was 19.  She studied
a little with me and I pulled out my Tristano stuff for her, having her sing Lester Young solos!  I will be conducting Elvis Costello’s ballet in Australia.”  
Along the way he also arranged and conducted Mel Torme’s Tribute to Bing Crosby(which gained a Grammy nomination for best arrangement
accompanying a vocal, Scott Hamilton’s With Strings and Marian McPartland’s Silent Pool.

With all of that activity, a trio showcase such as ‘Round Midnight was long overdue, to remind listeners of Broadbent’s talents as an improvising jazz
pianist.  “I love the way that Joe and Brian play for me.  It is an afternoon of my feelings, a snapshot of our meeting together.”

For the future, Alan Broadbent says, “I practice every day.  As Lennie told me, I can’t go too far from the piano.  My goal is always to move people.  
As long as I concentrate on what moves me, then I have a chance to affect people who feel deeply about this music.”


A very appealing singer with a warm voice and the ability to express the hidden beauty found in superior lyrics, Maria Guida recently recorded her
debut CD, Soul Eyes. Throughout this impressive and highly enjoyable set, the beauty of Maria’s voice is equaled by her understanding of the words
and the creative spirit of her musicians. In fact, there was such an immediate communication between all of the participants that Soul Eyes was
recorded in its entirety in one day.

“I used some of the best musicians around,” recalls Maria, “and they made it easy, fun and relaxed. I love pianist James Weidman’s playing. He is very
lyrical, inspiring and has a wonderful spirit. I’ve known bassist Dean Johnson for 20 years and I’d always wanted to work with him but this is the first
time we ever played together. He is an exciting player, his time is beautiful as is his harmonic sense, and he is very supportive.  Tony Moreno and I
did a couple of gigs together over the years and I’ve always loved his tasteful drumming. He can create a lot of excitement and put a lot of fire into the
music and, at the same time, he is very supportive of singers. And then there is Ron Horton, a phenomenal trumpeter and flugelhorn player. His
soulful sound, ideas, harmonic sense and articulation are beautiful. I had never worked with him before but I am so thrilled that he is on this CD.”

While most of the standards on Soul Eyes are familiar, these versions are unique. “It was very important to include a bit of myself and my take on the
world because so many people have recorded standards.  I wanted to create a CD that brings these beautiful tunes to life in a way that was different
than the way other people have done them, using my point of view and my sound.” Certainly this version of the opening “How Little We Know” differs
from previous renditions. It is given a gentle interpretation as Maria sings about the mystery of love, and it becomes quite touching near its end when
the tempo slows down.

“The thing I love about ‘Inside A Silent Tear,’ a beautiful song written by Blossom Dearie, is that it allows the message to shine. Love can be tearful
and love can be sad. We sometimes make wrong choices in love, but the feeling behind this tune keeps it from being depressing. It’s a very truthful
song.” Maria digs so deep into the lyrics that eventually the words are not even necessary to express her feelings and she sings wordlessly for a
chorus. Ron Horton’s trumpet blends beautifully with her in several spots.

The next two songs pay tribute to John Coltrane. On “Bessie’s Blues,” Maria sings Coltrane’s memorable solo in addition to the melody. The most
famous version of Mal Waldron’s “Soul Eyes” was recorded by Coltrane in 1962. “I have always been very moved by the beauty of this song. I was
surprised that, in addition to the gorgeous melody, Mal Waldron had also written the lyrics.”

“Let’s Get Lost” is closely identified with Chet Baker and is given a joyful, swinging and carefree rendition. “I really love Chet Baker and I used to
memorize a lot of his solos. This song always brings a smile to my face.” Also quite happy is “East Of The Sun,” which is described by Maria as “a
beautiful picture of an ideal situation.”

On “Spring Is Here,” Mario Guida perfectly balances the sadness of not being loved with the happiness generated by the arrival of swing. In addition
to its opening theme, “The Way You Look Tonight” was given a new set of lyrics and a fresh melody composed by Maria that fits in with the vintage
piece’s original plot. “Jay Clayton suggested that I sing ‘The Night We Called It A Day.’ I love its play on words and the way that it expresses feelings
through visions of nature.” This heartfelt version really shows off the beauty of Maria’s voice.

The singer’s playful side is displayed on “No Moon At All,” which with its sly wit hints at what could happen in the darkness of the night when no moon
is shining. Maria engages in some very effective scatting on Miles Davis’ “Four” in addition to singing Jon Hendrick’s lyrics. A quietly emotional version
of Billy Strayhorn’s “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing,” taken as a duet with Weidman’s piano, serves as a perfect close for Soul Eyes.

Maria Guida grew up in Valley Stream on Long Island. She remembers hearing her grandparents’ opera records when she was young and also of her
mother singing American popular songs around the house a bit like Peggy Lee. Maria played violin for 11 years including with a string quartet and in
an all-state orchestra, and she sang solos in a choir, but for 15 years she worked as an actor. She was featured in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov
and Tennessee Williams, worked with new productions, appeared on Broadway and television, had roles in soap operas and did commercials. “I was
fortunate to work on stage with many wonderful actors, including Kevin Kline and Estelle Parsons -- and to be directed by James Earl Jones and Tom
O'Horgan.” She was also cast by Joseph Papp for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare in the Park.

The turning point of her professional life occurred when she saw pianist Bill Evans play live. “Once I got hooked on jazz, my artistic appetite moved
away from acting. Soon I was listening to Erroll Garner, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Miles Davis and Lester Young. I started to sing
professionally in New York.” Very important in Maria’s career were the lessons that she received from singers Jay Clayton and Sheila Jordan. “Jay
Clayton, who is a real innovator, gave me the courage to be as inventive as I can be. She helped me to see that there are no sounds that are off
limits. It’s not just about singing pretty. And it is impossible to overemphasize the impact that Sheila Jordan had on my singing. She opened my ears
and helped me to get deeply in touch with who I am and how I can bring who I am to any given song. Honesty is first and foremost. Music and the
lyrics are a way into the soul. Sheila gave me so much.”

Since becoming a jazz singer, Maria has sung in many clubs with such top musicians as pianists Bruce Barth, Kenny Werner, Pete Malinverni and
Garry Dial, bassists Essiet Essiet, Ratzo Harris, Cameron Brown and Ed Schuller, and drummers Ron Vincent and Tom Rainey plus the musicians
featured on Soul Eyes.

Maria Guida looks forward to the future with enthusiasm. “I have been exploring more and more tunes, expanding my repertoire and my sound,
becoming a more explorative singer, and finding the core meaning of each song. I am also very interested in focusing on the interplay with the
musicians who I work with. I want to keep expanding as a singer. I love the songs that I’ve recorded. I want the listener to have as much joy when they
hear these songs as I have when I sing them songs. I am very grateful for the opportunity to sing this music.”

The release of Soul Eyes promises to raise the visibility of Maria Guida in the jazz world, making it possible for many new fans to discover the beauty,
sincerity and joy of her singing.