born on 23/4/1947 in Auckland, Auckland Region, New Zealand
Alan Leonard Broadbent, MNZM (born 23 April 1947 in Auckland, New Zealand), is a jazz pianist, arranger and composer best known for his work with artists such as Charlie Haden, Woody Herman, Chet Baker, Irene Kral, Sheila Jordan, Natalie Cole, Warne Marsh, Bud Shank, and many others.
Broadbent studied piano and music theory in his own country, but in 1966 went to the US to study at the Berklee College of Music. Alan Broadbent's first professional gig was in a jazz trio with bassist Kevin Haines and drummer Tony Hopkins at Club 81 in Auckland New Zealand in the mid-1960s.
Broadbent's first two albums, Song of Home and Further Down the Road, were recorded in 1985 in New Zealand on the Tartar label (respectively TRL-043 and TRL-052). Broadbent is joined on those recordings by Andy Brown (bass) and Frank Gibson, Jr. (drums). Those early albums show a fascination (which still characterizes Broadbent's work) with reinterpreting a broad range of standards; he covers material as diverse as "What is this Thing Called Love?" (Cole Porter) and "Oleo" (Sonny Rollins). Further Down the Road also shows Broadbent's increasing confidence as a composer (the title tune, "Nictation" and "Don't Ask Why").
Broadbent's first U.S. release, Everything I Love, was recorded in Hollywood in April 1986 and released on the Discovery label (DS-929). In this set, Putter Smith replaces Brown on bass; Frank Gibson, Jr. continues with the trio. Again, Broadbent covers standards ranging from Oscar Hammerstein ("Softly as in a Morning Sunrise") to John Coltrane ("Lazy Bird"), and contributes two original compositions ("Continuity" and "Mendocino Nights").
In the early 90s he was asked to be a part of Natalie Cole's famous "Unforgettable" cd, at which time he toured as her pianist and, a little while later, as her conductor. At this time he wrote an orchestral arrangement for her second video with her dad, "When I Fall In Love", which won him his first Grammy for "Best Orchestral Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal".
During the 1990s Broadbent was part of Charlie Haden's "Quartet West."
It was while he was with Charlie Haden's Quartet West that he won his second Grammy, an orchestral accompaniment written for Shirley Horn of Leonard Bernstein's "Lonely Town".As a soloist and with his jazz trio, Broadbent has been nominated for Grammys twice for best instrumental performance, in the company of such artists as Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Keith Jarrett. In 2007 he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit, an honor he holds in high regard.
Broadbent is Diana Krall's conductor for her occasional orchestra concerts and is the conductor on her "Live in Paris" DVD. Recently he has been the arranger on Glenn Frey's cd with strings, "After Hours", and wrote six string arrangements for Sir Paul McCartney's "Kisses On The Bottom" with the London Symphony. He has just returned from solo piano concerts in the UK, Poland and France. It has been his lifelong goal, through his orchestral arrangements and jazz improvisations, to discover, in popular music and standard songs, deeper feelings of communication and love.
In the November 2013 issue of downbeat Magazine his trio CD, Heart To Heart garnished a rare 5 star rating.
As a trio, duo or solo artist
- 1979 Alan Broadbent Palette (Granite)
- 1984 Alan Broadbent Trio Song of Home (Kiwi Pacific)
- 1985 Alan Broadbent Trio Song of Home (Tartar)
- 1985 Alan Broadbent Trio (Broadbent / Brown / Gibson) Further Down the Road (Tartar)
- 1986 Alan Broadbent Trio Everything I Love (Discovery)
- 1987 Alan Broadbent Trio Another Time (Trend)
- 1989 Alan Broadbent Trio Away From You (Trend)
- 1991 Alan Broadbent Live at Maybeck Recital Hall, Vol. 14 (Concord Jazz)
- 1993 Alan Broadbent / Gary Foster Live at Maybeck Recital Hall
- 1993 Alan Broadbent / Gary Foster Concord Duo Series, Vol. 4 (Concord Jazz)
- 1994 Alan Broadbent Trio Over the Fence (Ode)
- 1995 Alan Broadbent Pacific Standard Time (Concord)
- 1997 Alan Broadbent Trio Personal Standards (Concord Jazz) (Grammy Nomination (Best Composition "Every Time I Think Of You")
- 2000 Alan Broadbent Continuity (Revelation) (third album as a leader)
- 2003 Alan Broadbent You And the Night and The Music (A440 Music Group) (Grammy Nomination (Best Improv. Solo "What's New")
- 2003 Alan Broadbent Fine and Dandy (Manu) (as a quartet with George Chisholm (trumpet, flugelhorn), Andy Brown (bass), Frank Gibson (drums))
- 2005 Alan Broadbent 'Round Midnight (Artistry Music) (Grammy Nomination (Best Improv. Solo "Round Midnight")
- 2005 Alan Broadbent With Strings (King Japan)
- 2006 Alan Broadbent (with strings) Every Time I Think of You (Artistry Music)
- 2007 Alan Broadbent Trio Over The Fence
- 2009 Broadbent / Gibson / Smith Together Again
- 2009 Alan Broadbent Trio Moment's Notice (Chilly Bin)
- 2010 Alan Broadbent Trio Live at Giannelli Square, Vol. 1 (Chilly Bin) (Grammy Nomination (Best Improv. Solo "Solar")
- 2012 Alan Broadbent Heart to Heart - recorded live on August 28 at Classic Pianos, Portland, OR
With Irene Kral:
- 1974 Irene Kral Where Is Love? (Choice)
With Charlie Haden:
- 1987 Charlie Haden Quartet West Quartet West (Verve)
- 1988 Charlie Haden Quartet West In Angel City (Verve)
- 1991 Charlie Haden Quartet West Haunted Heart (Verve)
- 1993 Charlie Haden Quartet West Always Say Goodbye (Verve)
- 1995 Charlie Haden Quartet West Now Is the Hour (Verve)
- 1999 Charlie Haden Quartet West The Art of the Song (Grammy for "Lonely Town" arrangement)
- 2002 Charlie Haden with Michael Brecker American Dreams (Verve, 2002) (conductor/arranger)
- 2007 Charlie Haden Quartet West The Best of Quartet West
- 2011 Charlie Haden Quartet West Sophisticated Ladies (EmArcy, 2010) (conductor/arranger)
With Natalie Cole:
- 1991 Natalie Cole Unforgettable
- 1993 Natalie Cole Take A Look
- 1994 Natalie Cole Holly and Ivy
- 1996 Natalie Cole Stardust (Grammy Award for "When I Fall In Love")
- 2002 Natalie Cole Ask A Woman Who Knows (Grammy Nomination for "I'm Glad There Is You")
- 2008 Natalie Cole Still Unforgettable
- List of music arrangers
- Henderson, Alex. [Alan Broadbent at All Music Guide Alan Broadbent: Biography]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-12-27.
- Wynn, Ron. [Alan Broadbent at All Music Guide Haunted Heart: Review]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 2010-12-27.
- New England Jazz History Database - Audio Interviews
- Official website