Release Date:
June 23, 2009

Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Ware

Cindy Bradley's debut CD Bloom is a good solid entry into a music market that needs an infusion of fresh talent.  It may not be blazingly cutting-edge, but it is one of the best new CDs I've heard in awhile.  There are two driving forces at work here.  First, is Bradley's considerable talent on trumpet and flugelhorn (she holds a Masters degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance), and is more than ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the "big boys."  Her musicianship is without question.  And while her sound has more true jazz elements than most smooth jazz CDs, it is also very melody-driven. 

The second driving force on Bloom is Grammy award winning pianist, producer, and songwriter Michael Broening, whose recent production work includes projects with Jay Soto, Jaared, Marion Meadows, Tim Bowman, Freddie Fox, Althea Rene, and Steve Oliver.  Broening also wrote or co-wrote with Bradley all ten tracks on Bloom.
Bloom starts out with the title track, a nice radio-friendly melody that nicely sets the stage for what follows.  And what follows are the mellow but fun "Swing Set"; the jazzy, soulful "Curves Ahead" (reminiscent of Blood Sweat and Tears); and the very rich sound, of "Sycamore Soul" with a taste of flamenco. 

Next up we are treated to a little jazz-funk with "Uptown Drive," featuring Marion Meadows on soprano and tenor sax; and "Brooklyn Bounce" featuring Jaared on sax.   Then Bradley slows it down with the romantic "Take Me There."

"Catch the Wind" has a Latin/World flavored.  Soft and ethereal.  Relaxing, not mind-numbing.  "On Solid Ground" is a nice mid-tempo contemporary jazz track featuring Jay Soto on lead guitar.  And closing it out is the sweet, mellow, and mesmerizing "Before I Go."

Take a listen.  Bloom is one of those debut CDs that makes you really look forward to the next one.  Very nicely done.