by Anne Carlini
Kristen R. Bromley Quintet – Bluish Tide
| Title – Bluish Tide
Artist – Kristen R. Bromley Quintet
For those unaware, Dr. Kristen R. Bromley is a gifted and sought-after instructor, as well as a loved performer and composer. Furthermore, Kristen has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education from Boston University, a Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies, with an additional BA major in Family History and Genealogy, from Brigham Young University.Bluish Tide (out now) is Kristen’s second jazz release as a leader. The album includes 9 mainstream originals involving a mix of swing, bossa nova, funk, and ECM grooves, plus one swing style cover of an old classic hymn – How Great Thou Art.On this record, Kristen is joined by Dr. Ray Smith on tenor saxophone (and alto flute for one track), Steve Erickson on piano, Matt Larson on bass, and Jay Lawrence on drums.1. Pillar of Fire (5:34)
2. Groove O’clock Time (6:47)
3. O Great God – How Great Thou Art! (8:31)
4. Faith Preceded My Miracle (10:05)
5. Between Canyon Walls (6:01)
6. Bluish Tide (7:34)
7. Paint Me a Picture My Love (10:11)
8. Just Walkin’ (7:11)
9. Junkyard Dawg (10:08)
10. Through the Veil (7:51)This rather delightful, honesty-crafted new album opens on the playful Pillar of Fire and the vibrant urgency of Groove O’clock Time and follows those up with the laid back soiree affair of the traditional Swedish Folk Tune O Great God – How Great Thou Art! and then comes the transcended rhythms of the 10 minute Faith Preceded My Miracle.Next up is the upbeat and playful Between Canyon Walls and one of my own personal favorites, the bullish, yet tempered title track Bluish Tide, and they are in turn backed by the opulence of the 10 minute Paint Me a Picture My Love, the gentle finger-snapping melodies of Just Walkin’, the album rounding out on the funky 10 minute track, Junkyard Dawg, closing on the ornamented excellence of Through the Veil.
In January 2016, Dr. Bromley suffered a severe break to her left-arm humerus bone, which likewise involved the crushing of her left-arm radial nerve.
Despite a very grim prognosis, which suggested that in a best-case-scenario she would regain a very small percentage of the function of her left-arm and hand, Dr. Bromley works as a musician and guitarist today.
At the time of the injury, she was given a special priesthood blessing wherein God promised her that in time, because of her faith, she would experience a complete recovery. Truly, this miraculous promise has become a reality.
After several months of patience and waiting, she slowly began regaining the ability to move her wrist and fingers, and weeks later was able to start gradually developing the ability to play the guitar again.
In November of 2018, Dr. Bromley recorded a debut album called Simply Miraculous, which celebrated her miraculous return to professional guitar playing. Since then, she has continued to record and perform regularly.
Dr. Bromley is the author of several guitar method books and is featured on various recordings. She has toured as a musician across parts of North America and Europe, and has performed at several highly prestigious jazz festivals such as the Edinburgh International Jazz Festival in Scotland, the Birmingham International Jazz Festival in England, the Marlborough International Jazz Festival in England, the Loulé Jazz Festival in Portugal, the San Sebastian International Jazz Festival in Spain, and the Ezcaray Jazz Festival in Spain.
Dr. Bromley has also performed and presented clinics at Jazz Education Network and International Association for Jazz Education conferences. In 2006 and 2007, she was named the outstanding guitar soloist at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival.
As a scholar, Dr. Bromley has focused much of her research on discovering ways to create more interactive and person-centered educational environments wherein individuals experience whole-person learning outcomes as they grow through cognitive, emotional, and experiential means, develop greater self-discipline, and become more fully-functioning persons.
For more information see Person-Centered Learning in a Collegiate Jazz Combo by Kristen R. Bromley.
Kristen loves life, is deeply religious, and truly believes in the awesome power music has to uplift and edify the soul. She has devoted her career to enriching, uplifting, edifying, and inspiring lives through the education, performance, scholarship, composition, recording, and publishing of music.
Since Kristen’s trio release in 2018, which celebrated her return to professional guitar playing, Kristen has continued to overcome the effects of the injury, and some of the tracks on this album pay tribute to her God-given, miraculous recovery.
Listeners will have a hard time not tapping their toes or feeling the expressions made by the quintet of musicians on this record.