Few people experience loss and recovery in the kind of profound manner in which the musician Kristen R. Bromley has. The composer and guitarist regained the use of her left, harmonic, arm after losing the use of it almost completely due to an accident. By her own admission, faith in God saved her and gave her “back” the use of her arm. By declaring this and with her virtuoso musicianship – albeit with an abundance of modesty – she celebrates what seems to be a supernatural recovery with the aptly-named recording, Simply Miraculous.
This is a lavish statement of faith by Miss Bromley; a priceless gig and intimate, informal masterclass in improvisation by a guitarist who may not be well-known even among her peers, but certainly deserves wider attention for her bluesy approach to the music and the instrument that she plays exceedingly well. Miss Bromley’s mellow, luminous guitar lines punctuated by effervescent chords are heard here swinging in tandem with the roaring percussion of Jay Lawrence and Matt Larson’s poetic, melodious bass through a programme of originals and a couple of old gems in the form of a couple of hymn and a re-wound standard that is entitled “Rhythm I’ve Got…”Quarky” As It Maybe”. Everywhere the music is replete with delicious digressions and diversions, but not a dead spot nor a blind alley to be found.
Whether it’s tiptoeing through the haunting sequence that begins with “Winter Sundown” and ends with “Winter Sunrise” or rocking in the flight of “Lasst Uns Erfreuen “Let Us Be Joyful – Let Us Rejoice” and making a detailed, deep blue study of the second hymn (on acoustic guitar), “I Know My Redeemer; He Lives!” the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic invention is simply sublime and the joyousness almost palpable, while everywhere else Miss Bromley ringing in the changes in mood frequently. The inspirations behind the compositions are varied and thought-provoking, realized in engrossing trio performances that engage the head, heart and feet.
Track list – 1: Simply Miraculous; 2: The L’s Are Si”Ll”Ent; 3: Winter Sundown; 4: Winter Sunrise; 5: Rhythm I’ve Got…”Quarky” As It Maybe; 6: Lasst Uns Erfreuen “Let Us Be Joyful – Let Us Rejoice”; 7: I Know My Redeemer; He Lives!
Personnel – Kristen R. Bromley: guitar; Matt Larson: bass; Jay Lawrence: drums
Released – 2019
Label – Kristen R. Bromley Music
Runtime – 58:18