Chicago based saxophonist Geof Bradfield's Melba! is a much needed tribute to the criminally underexposed trombonist and arranger Melba Liston. Liston debuted with trumpeter, bandleader Gerald Wilson, was one of the stars of trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie's bebop big band and devoted herself to arranging after she met pianist Randy Weston with whom she had a long and fruitful career.Commissioned by Chamber Music America's 2011 New Jazz Works program and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation this ambitious album is a musical biography of sorts with each movement representing a significant era in Liston's life. The brilliantly orchestrated ...read more
Melba Liston (1926-1999) isn't one of the big names that comes up when great jazz composer/arrangers are mentioned, but it should be. Starting as a trombonist with some of the greats--Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Count Basie, Art Blakey--she soon began working with Randy Weston, arranging the pianist's composition on Uhuru Africa, (Roulette Records, 1960) and Highlife (Roulette Records, 1961). She also wrote the charts for saxophonist Johnny Griffin, vibraphonist Milt Jackson, drummer Elvin Jones and bassist Charles Mingus. Fast forward thirty plus years and she again collaborated with Weston for an under-appreciated masterpiece, The Spirits of Our Ancestors (Polygram Records, ...read more
African Flowers germinated during reed player Geof Bradfield's 2008 performance tour of Africa, co-sponsored by the US State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center, as part of pianist Ryan Cohan's quartet. No stranger to the music of Africa, multi-instrumentalist Bradfield (tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet and flute) arranged singer Miriam Makeba's Polo Mze" for Seize the Time (Naim Jazz, 2009) by drummer Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, an ensemble with whom Bradfield has frequently performed in their shared Chicago hometown. Created through support from Chamber Music America's New Works: Creation & Presentation Program, Bradfield's third release comprises a ...read more
Saxophonist Geof Bradfield's experiences traveling and performing in Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe in 2008 were the inspiration for African Flowers. Bradfield was a member of pianist Ryan Cohan's quartet, and the band took part in a US State Department/Jazz at Lincoln Center tour. This extended work for sextet features excellent writing and strong musicianship from Cohan, guitarist Jeff Parker, trumpeter Victor Garcia, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer George Fludas.African Flowers follows the quartet release Urban Nomad (Origin, 2008) and Bradfield's stunning trio debut, Rule Of Three (Liberated Zone Records, 2003). While Africa was the inspiration ...read more
On Urban Nomad, Chicago saxophonist Geof Bradfield and his powerhouse quartet perform with tremendous spirit, maintaining a momentum that is vibrant and infectious. Bradfield's inventive, yet tightly-focused tenor and soprano playing is propelled by pianist Ron Perrillo, drummer George Fludas and bassist Clark Sommers, soaring through a mostly original set of charged-up progressive jazz.
Bradfield's compositions are full of shifting time signatures and lush harmonies. Most compelling, however, is the way the Columbia College instructor intertwines rhythmic and melodic motifs to create a lasting impression on the listener. The flowing lyricism of the title track, Janus Groove" and Ever Ever ...read more
Just in time for summer comes the first feel good" record of the year. We don’t mean feel good as in soft cheese; we are talking solid accessible post bop trio music here.
Ted Sirota, the drummer and leader of the Rebel Souls, has pared down his lineup from the sprawling sextet to this spartan trio. The Chicago-based drummer began in Boston, playing with rising-star guitarist Jeff Parker and soon adding the Chicago Underground musicians Rob Mazurek and Noel Kupersmith to his lineup. As members got busier with other projects, Sirota added saxophonist Geof Bradfield and recorded this ...read more