In 2011, after 39 years in Los Angeles, pianist, composer and arranger Alan Broadbent, perhaps best known for his work with Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and Charlie Haden’s Quartet West, moved to New York City. He has been active, teaching at New York University and playing around town. In an interview with Alex Henderson for the October issue of the The New York City Jazz Record, Broadbent talks about electric keyboards (he doesn´t play them), working with singers and writing and playing film noir music (“I’m not intentionally trying to be a film noir writer or a film noir artist — I write that way and I feel that way.”) Still, his most striking observations are about life as a jazz musician in LA.
The New York City Jazz Record: You were a fixture on the West Coast for many years.
AB: What’s a fixture? There were no jazz gigs, really. […] I would play a club in Los Angeles and three people would show up.They would sit in front of the piano, eat their spaghetti and yap the whole time. That to me is not the jazz experience.
TNYCJR: So you are happy to be living on the East Coast?
AB: I’m absolutely happy.[…] I’m appreciated here.[…] my wife is from Philadelphia. She’s an East Coast girl. And we wanted our son to grow up here with some culture.