JAZZ BLUES MAGAZINE
by Ron Weinstock
KRISTEN R. BROMLEY QUINTET
Dr. Kristen R. Bromley is a gifted and sought-after
instructor, as well as a loved performer and composer.
She directs ensembles and teaches guitar and jazz studies
courses at Brigham Young University. Dr. Bromley
also works as a professional arranging/composing,
performing, and recording musician.
The title of her first album, “Simply Miraculous,”
refers to her recovery from a severe break in 2016 to
her left-arm humerus bone, which involved the crushing
of her left-arm radial nerve. She overcame a prognosis
that she would regain a very small percentage
of her left arm and hand function. She attributes her
recovery and ability to resume playing guitar to being
a God-given miracle responding to her faith and prayer.
She continues overcoming the effects of the injury, and
some of the tracks on this album pay tribute to this
On the ten selections on “Bluish Tide,” 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. She wrote all
but one selection. It is a straight-ahead mainstream
guitar-centered album with groove-centered originals
along with a swing-style cover of the hymn, “How Great
Thou Art.” Ms. Bromley plays with a deft, clean touch
and tone, with an appealing, swinging mix of singlenote
runs and chords.
The rhythm section is immaculate, and Dr. Smith
adds to the performances with his full-bodied saxophone
(and on one selection alto flute). The originals
have gorgeous melodies, which the ensemble performs
wonderfully. Just a couple of samples are the lovely
ballad “Paint Me a Picture My Love” and the swinging
shuffle, “Just Walkin’.”
Bassist Larson and drummer Lawrence take a
couple of solo choruses on this upbeat track. These two
selections are representative of the splendid listening
“Bluish Tide” provides.