Patrick Bradley - Exhale
Recording artists aspire toward a time in their career when their music and the process by which it is realized become as natural as the ordained rushing of a sparkling mountain spring. Keyboardist/Composer Patrick Bradley has arrived at that rarefied space with his 5th album…Exhale (releasing January 15, 2021 via the Patricks Song Factory label). That he has reached this peak even while working with a new collaborator, producer/saxophonist/composer/multi-instrumentalist Darren Rahn (with Jeff Lorber returning to co-produce 2 of the 11 songs), is even more serendipitous. Exhale sounds and feels as breezy as it was to create – as rewarding for the listener as it is a testament to the growth of the artist.
“This fifth record is coming right on track with my every three-year trajectory,” Bradley quietly marvels. “My goal was to continue my musical journey with some accessible radio music but also stick to my Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock roots. The project was originally going to be titled ‘Providence,’ the theme about being grateful to God and a title track that I almost slotted onto my last record… until I connected with Darren Rahn. After three successful albums with Jeff Lorber, I felt it was time to explore a different approach, while still retaining Jeff for two numbers. Dave Koz introduced me to Darren and we instantly connected on many levels. We started in late Fall collaborating and preparing songs. I wanted my new music to provide a release from recent tensions in the world with a Christ- centered foundation. All of these songs are imbued with senses of hope and relaxing – even the more rockin’ ones!”
Setting the tone for Exhale is the album’s title track which rolls out on a celestial sequencer groove with majestic chordal progressions and bubbly synth bass. “‘Exhale’ was clearly the lead single since 2020 has been a tough year for us all,” Bradley shares. “The original title was ‘Soffrito,’ inspired by me cooking Bolognese with my grandson and explaining that it takes all day. He shouted, ‘All day Bolognese!!’ Looking up the recipe, I saw that soffrito is the key ingredient and thought, ‘What a beautiful word.’ When Darren and I worked on the song together, it grew into something more. Then when we entered the COVID world, my wife suggested I call it ‘Exhale.’
Patrick and Darren’s shared Christian faith buoyed beautiful, heartfelt numbers such as “Completely Yours,” “Song of May” and “Lighthouse” (featuring some signature tasty guitar by Allen Hinds). More forthright in terms of inspiration is “In the Heart of the Seas” which shifts between piano- centric verses and guitar driven choruses. “The term comes from The Book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament which I am referencing in a specific context,” Bradley states. “When you’re flailing in the heart of the seas and you need someone to pull you out, only Jesus – for me - can save you. I had the title first which gave me that vibe - a mental picture of what it should sound and feel like. You can be in the worst situation yet rest in the knowing that it’s all going to work out fine.”