Kristen R. Bromley Trio is reviewed by All About Jazz with Simply Miraculous

Three Guitarists: Michael Musillami, Kristen Bromley, and Romain Pilon

By JEROME WILSON

The more adventurous and abstract forms of jazz guitar get a lot of attention these days, but these three releases prove that mainstream guitar players still have a lot to say.

Kristen R. Bromley Trio
Simply Miraculous
Self-produced
2019

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this CD is that it exists at all. Kristen Bromley is a performer and teacher of jazz guitar who broke her arm in 2016. She damaged nerves in the arm to the point where she was told she would only ever regain limited use of her left hand and arm. Yet, by November 2018 when this CD was recorded, she had recovered to the point of being able to play guitar with full range. Her sound here encompasses both breezy acoustic strumming and intricate electric playing. She excels on the Kenny Burrell-like languid blues lines of “Winter Sundown” and the tangy funk chords on “Simply Miraculous.” Matt Larson and Jay Lawrence are invaluable in setting the stage for Bromley. Their combination of booming bass and nimble drums fit together especially well with her bluesy swagger on “Rhythm I’ve Got.”

There’s also a quieter side to the guitarist’s playing that comes through on the courtly samba licks of “Winter Sunrise” and the mix of wide acoustic strumming and frisky folk-rockish rhythm on “The L’s are Si”ll”ent.” The spiritual aspect of Bromley’s work dominates the CD’s final two tracks. On “Lasst uns Erfeuen” she picks through fragments of hymns before stepping into a flowing rhythm that sounds like vintage Pat Metheny and”I Know my Redeemer” is quiet and graceful acoustic playing.

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