Alan Broadbent And NDR Big Band, America The Beautiful (Jan Matthies Records)
Broadbent, a New Zealander who migrated to The United States, writes a tribute to his adopted land and records it with a German band. The shimmering complexity of his arrangement of Samuel A. Ward’s 1892 title tune portrays his affection for the country. That track and his eight other pieces reconfirm Broadbent’s stature among jazz composers and arrangers. His original works include what he calls a “study” on the Gillespie-Parker intro to “All The Things You Are,” an evocation of Billy Strayhorn, homages to his mentor Woody Herman and to pianist Sonny Clark, a fantasy on New Zealand and a reexamination of “Love in Silent Amber,” which Broadbent wrote for Herman when he was 23. His piano playing and the work of the NDR band and its soloists are magnificent.