Alan Broadbent Biography

23 April 1947, Auckland, New Zealand. After studying piano and musical theory in his homeland, in the mid-60s Broadbent moved to the USA to study at the Berklee College Of Music. After studying with Lennie Tristano he began arranging for Woody Herman, his work appearing on the 1973 album, Giant Steps. In the 70s, Broadbent composed music in the classical form while simultaneously playing with jazz groups including those led by John Klemmer, Bill Berry and Bud Shank. In the 80s Broadbent played with Warne Marsh, Charlie Haden and others.

Having previously shown himself to be adept at accompanying singers (he recorded with Irene Kral in the early 70s), in the 90s and new millennium Broadbent found himself increasingly in demand as an arranger and conductor. He accompanied artists including Sue Raney, Mel Tormé, Michael Feinstein and Diana Krall, and picked up two Grammy Awards during the same period for his work with Natalie Cole (1997’s arrangement of ‘When I Fall In Love’) and Charlie Haden (2000’s arrangement of ‘Lonely Town’ for the bass player’s Quartet West). His own recordings in the mid-90s included acclaimed trio recordings with bass player Putter Smith and drummers Frank Gibson and Joe LaBarbera.

A fleet and inventive soloist with imaginative gifts, Broadbent is also an ideal section player, effectively accompanying soloists and lending authority to ensembles. Nevertheless, his writing, especially his jazz arranging, may well prove to be his most important contribution to music.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.