Berks Jazz Fest 2008: Alex Bugnon

Berks08_Bugnon.jpgSaturday afternoon the double bill of keyboardist Alex Bugnon, followed by sax player Euge Groove, was scheduled at the Sheraton. I was glad to see Alex Bugnon getting the opportunity for a full length show and the artist really seemed to appreciate this, as did his fans in the crowd. Alex hails from the French speaking part of Switzerland and moved to the US to follow his music career which yielded many successful albums over the years. His band consisted of Victor Bailey on bass, Vincent Henry on reeds and guitar plus a drummer. He played a wide selection of songs ranging from "This Time Around" to his hit, the cover of Brenda Russel's "Piano In The Dark" to "107� In The Shade", the Ohio Players' "Sweet Sticky Thing" and others. His band was top-notch, especially Victor Bailey - who was a member of Weather Report - stood out and Vincent Henry with his sax and flute playing, he blew me especially away with his harmonica playing, an unusual element that worked very well. Alex played his keys in his own soulful style, often breaking it down to build it up again. The only thing that prevented me from enjoying this concert fully was the distorted sound of his keyboards, causing them to drown in the mix, I considered this to be very unprofessional and distracting. Anyway, the crowd did seem to like the performance of Alex Bugnon nevertheless.