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Simply smooth is the best way to describe flautist Bradley Leighton's latest thing. Smooth in its style, sound, and performances, Just Doin' Our Thang is the followup release to the southern California based musician's 2003 debut, Groove Yard. Leaning towards an urban and contemporary style, Bradley has the credentialsbut more notably the talentto deliver an enjoyable recording for fans of mellow music.
Some of the key elements include Leighton's use of an alto flute (with its deep and whispery tone), clever reworkings of popular songs, and capable band membersfeaturing the Hammond B3 organ as a nice backdrop to flesh out musical ideas. The combination of the alto flute's resonance and the B3's signature sound make for a soothing blend.
Though the recording is a little top-heavy with covers of other songs, it draws you into a blissful reminiscencestarting off with a fine remake of the pop hit "Sunny with a toe-tapping and head-bopping tempo filled with nice flute and organ work. Other memorable remakes include Charlie Parker's Now's The Time, proving the band can swing, and "The Pink Panther, which shows their sense of humor. On the southern classic "Summer Time Leighton's dual-channeled flute breezes with warm notes and feathery trills that fit the mood appropriately.
Leighton contributes three of his own compositions, and though not as memorable as their more popular counterparts, they are consistent with the overall feel of the recording, thanks to producer Allan Phillips, who also plays percussion and keyboards, as well as organist Rob Whitlock and guitarist Bob Boss, who both lay down some sweet backup and solo work on Leighton's "Lazy Summer Days and Bill Withers' R&B classic "Ain't No Sunshine. If you have a taste for cool sounds with an old school vibe, Leighton and his crew do justice to the music.
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!