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Geof Bradfield: Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers

Read "Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The Compass Players was a legendary theatrical ensemble in Chicago whose members developed several improvisational games to stimulate their creative instincts. One of these was called “Yes, and..." where one person would start telling a story and everyone who followed would have to continue the story however they wished from the point the previous speaker ended. Saxophonist Geof Bradfield has applied the concept of that game to this project, writing a suite for nine improvising musicians where each movement builds ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Geof Bradfield: Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers

Read "Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Since the early 2000s, saxophonist and composer Geof Bradfield has been an integral part of the ever-fertile Chicago jazz scene, bringing his substantial talents to music that easily bridges the divide between the traditional and the avant-garde. His records have explored a remarkable range of styles and themes: from African Flowers (Origin Records, 2010), which traced the intersections between African folk forms and American jazz, to Melba! (Origin Records, 2013), Bradfield's tribute to trombonist/arranger Melba Liston, to Our Roots (Origin ...

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Geof Bradfield: Birdhoused

Read "Birdhoused" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

A horn-fest? That was the initial impression of saxophonist Geof Bradfield's Birdhoused, a set featuring a quintet with no chording instrument and  four horn front line in a live set at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge. While Bradfield's Melba (Origin Records, 2013) paid tribute to the under-sung trombonist/composer/arranger Melba Liston; and his Roots (Origin Records, 2015) explored the sounds of Leadbelly, Blind Willie Johnson and the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Birdhoused expands the horizons, delving into the disparate sounds of ...

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Geof Bradfield Quintet: Our Roots

Read "Our Roots" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Tenor saxophonist Geof Bradfield's inspiration for Our Roots came from Clifford Jordan's Huddie “LeadBelly" tribute, These are my Roots: Clifford Jordan plays Leadbelly (Atlantic, 1965). While there is a bit of overlap in material from both recordings, Bradfield adopts a very different format for his presentation. Jordan employed a standard jazz rhythm section, while Bradfield eschews a harmony instrument in preference to a three-horn front. It is no mistake that this recording recalls alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman's seminal Atlantic recordings ...

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Geof Bradfield: Our Roots

Read "Our Roots" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Without the blues, there would be no jazz, and arguably, no rock-and-roll. Think about it, if there were no rock-and-roll, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who stole every American blues lick they could find in the 1960s, would have had to get real jobs. Jazz musicians suffer no illusions that their music wasn't born of the African-American blues tradition and its music is unequaled when it deals overtly with this tradition. Saxophonist Geof Bradfield is a skilled composer ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Geof Bradfield Quintet: Our Roots

Read "Our Roots" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Discussing “roots" in the context of jazz, a good starting point is the Mississippi delta, down in New Orleans, where the music of trumpeters King Oliver and Louis Armstrong grew strong. And then there's the rich earth of the delta in north western Mississippi, up near Clarksdale, where the blues grew and blossomed. The roots from both these areas were, of course, transplanted from Africa. Chicago-based saxophonist Geof Bradfield follows up his marvelous Melba! (Origin Records, 2013) with ...

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Geof Bradfield: Melba!

Read "Melba!" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

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 ...


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