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.