April 13, 2009

Cindy Bradley--Bloom

Newcomer trumpeter Cindy Bradley is escorted onto the smooth jazz scene here by the Trippin N Rhythm record label with a ton of class and finesse in this beautifully sassy and sexy debut album, Bloom, due in stores nationwide on June 23. Full of sultry rhythm and passion, this young lady adds a distinct touch of silky-to-the-soul flair in such a manner as to make it undoubtedly a part of her identity now and, hopefully, in future endeavors.

Bloom’s first and title track is about as soft and swaying a rhythmic introduction to this lovely addition to our world of smoothness as one could imagine. It’s a delicate piece with a very catchy and delightful melody, a strong preview of what’s to follow. What immediately does follow is another “groove-while-you-stroll-or-ride” tune with a lot of body.

Buoyed by strong support from guest appearances by such prominent artists as guitarists Tim Bowman, Jay Soto, Freddie Fox, and saxmen Marion Meadows and Jaared, Bradley bolts from the starting line in a blinding blaze and never lets up.

Trumpeters always have a tendency to be completely noticed or unnoticed. In my view, the sound and phrasings either fit or they don’t. Unlike the late inimitable Miles Davis, many are just ornaments or decorations for an already erected base of sound, and some offer little by way of mystique. Then, there are the Bottis, the Brauns---and the Bradleys of the scene. They get it done. Leads that are meant to be leads—not just propped up as leads. Cindy Bradley is definitely here to show us the difference. Tunes teeming with funk (e.g., “Uptown Drive”), tease (“Sycamore Soul”), and exoticism (“Catch the Wind,” with its alluring hook and melody) are here in one magnificent production designed to embrace all of your senses. You can taste, feel, smell, hear, and see this stuff all in one fell swoop. It’s a smooth jazz aficionado’s ideal image of smooth in the hands of a properly played, properly phrased/massaged/caressed trumpet.

Maybe not exclusively so, but Trippin N Rhythm has a knack for grabbing the suave, debonair, and just generally laid-back yet funky smooth artists bound to be magnetic with poise and style. Cindy Bradley, this formally trained bold young lady who’s worn trumpet since 4th grade, who’s already had the pleasure of touring with the renowned Pieces of a Dream, and who regularly works with Maceo Parker’s bassist and his band, just claimed a place at the table of not only Trippin N Rhythm’s elites, but of all discriminating smooth jazzers with Bloom. Congrats, lady. Pull up a chair. Let’s all sit, chat, and drink of the creatively prepared “wine” you’ve created with this project. What a wonderful taste.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at April 13, 2009 8:33 PM