This past Wednesday night, I was a little bored and restless. After the family dinner and kitchen clean-up, I headed out to find some music. I went to Pete Miller's Steakhouse in downtown Evanston IL. Pete Miller's is the classic expensive steak and potatoes dinner house, with a collection of fancy single malt scotches, etc. etc. This restaurant format is very popular in the U.S. The portions are huge. No wonder Americans are so chubby. But Pete Miller's has also embraced live jazz, and on Wednesdays, you can listen to the Bobby Broom Trio - NO COVER!!! This is wild - Bobby is among the finest jazz guitarists in the world - I mean, WAAAAAY up there, with George Benson and John Pizarelli. He is in the Sonny Rollins band, fercyinoutloud! And every Wednesday, he plays to a sparse house in a suburb where people are too busy stuffing their pieholes and swilling liquor to pay attention to his amazing gifts.
Bobby opened his set with a wicked, hard-swinging cover of the Beatles tune "Can't Buy Me Love;" and the music just got better from there. I didn't catch the names of his bandmates, but they were as passionate about the music as Bobby. I had to move right in front of the bandstand to hear because there were a bunch of drunken braying donkeys hanging off the bar creating a wall of noise.
Bobby Broom has an amazing life story, which is described in detail on his web site. He has been playing professionally since he was 16 years old; he spent many years playing in Dr. John's band and then he decided to settle in Chicago. We are very lucky to have this guy in our town - he is the Michael Jordan of the jazz guitar. I hope that he gets better crowds and attention at Pete Miller's than he did this past Wednesday. Get out and support the brother, people!