3

Kevin Bachelder and Jason Lee Bruns: Cherry Avenue

Geannine Reid By

Sign in to view read count
Kevin Bachelder and Jason Lee Bruns: Cherry Avenue
Vocalist Kevin Bachelder and drummer Jason Lee Bruns have team up to release an enjoyable collection of tunes entitled, Cherry Avenue. Bachelder spent his early years playing the trumpet, but soon realized that singing came naturally to him as well. It wasn't until college that he decided to focus solely on his voice as a primary instrument of expression. Kevin further developed his passion for music by earning a Bachelor's in Music from Berklee and a Master's in Jazz Studies from USC. Bruns holds a bachelor's of Music (Miami University), a Master's in Jazz Studies (University of Southern California), performer's certificates from the Mangueira Samba School (Brazil) and the International Folklore Laboratory (Cuba), as well as a master's in Audio Production (Berklee).

The project owes its success to the ability of Bruns and Bachelder to find common ground to build their musical journey upon. "My Romance" opens the CD and establishes the chemistry between the two from the start, with a duo of drums and vocals conveying the first chorus. Bruns' brush work is excellent and Bachelder's warm voice ornaments the melody in just the right way. The ensemble joins and fills out the mid-up swing number with the horn section playing variations on the melody answered by eight bars of guitarist Angelo Metz soloing, followed by eight bars of a short chorus for the horns. This pattern is again repeated but with pianist Daniel Szabo soloing the second time around. Bruns and Bachelder again return to a duet setting with the band joining midway through the melody. The two have spent time thinking about clear and fresh ways to present this well-known melody and the result is a joy to listen and revel in.

The familiar melody of "Autumn Leaves" has a wonderful piano intro by Szabo that leads into a hip afro-Cuban rhythm that Bachelder easily finds new avenues to traverse. Bachelder takes a fine scatting solo followed by an inspired solo by trumpeter Ron Blake. Bachelder really shows his vocal range on this selection and his upper register work is very strong and adds much to the selection. Other fine Latin inspired selections on the project are: the gentle swaying bossa of "Waters of March," a surprising Brazilian inspired groove on "Dear Prudence," and the bossa nova of "Like Someone in Love."

"Ain't No Sunshine" finds Bruns laying down an excellent funky New Orleans vibe that sets the stage for Bachelder to take this selection to new places and again the interaction between the two is excellent. Bachelder again uses his upper register to good effect and his ornamentations are well placed. Jacques Voyemant turns in an energetic trombone solo. The blues shuffle is the title track "Cherry Avenue," it closes the date with a mid-swing selection that finds Bachelder's voice in the pocket and full of emotion. You can feel his connection to the blues. Brandon Fields spins out a solo full of chromaticism, upper register squeals and vigor.

Cherry Avenue is a perfect example of a collaboration gone right. When each leader plays upon the strengths of each other, for a group effort sound that is enlightened by an updated approach. What is best about this offering is the modernized, airy and very musical ideas that have enhanced what are already well-known pop culture hits.

Track Listing

My Romance; Autumn Leaves; I Fall in Love Too Easily; Waters of March; Dear Prudence; Send in the Clowns; Like Someone in Love; It Didn’t Workout That Way; Ain’t No Sunshine; Cherry Avenue.

Personnel

Kevin Bachelder: vocals, trumpet (#4); Daniel Szabo: piano; Angelo Metz: guitars; Ron Blake: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kim Richmond: soprano sax, alto sax, clarinet; Jacques Voyemant: trombone; Edwin Livingston: upright acoustic bass.

Album information

Title: Cherry Avenue | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read A Walk in the Park
A Walk in the Park
Jerry Cook Quartet +
Read New Aurora
New Aurora
Michael Sarian
Read Unnavigable Tributaries
Unnavigable Tributaries
Vicente / Brice / Sanders
Read How To turn the Moon
How To turn the Moon
Angelica Sanchez & Marilyn Crispell
Read The Path
The Path
Chien Chien Lu
Read Golden Daffodil
Golden Daffodil
Leslie Beukelman
Read Message from Groove and GW
Message from Groove and GW
The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band
Read Duos & Trios
Duos & Trios
Armaroli - Schiaffini - Sjostrom

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.