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Bebop Spoken There

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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

CD Review: Nicholas Bridgeman - Wheel of Life

Nicholas Bridgeman (keys).
I'm assuming this is a solo album as the drumming has the metronomic qualities associated with robotic drummers! Nevertheless, this is a very listenable and danceable album in the funky smooth vein. Left hand piano/guitar, right hand organ/piano, drum machine. Eight originals plus two covers - Black Orpheus and Cantaloupe Island.
Bridgeman is a fine composer and he's no slouch as a player either! Classically trained he performed a Shostakovich symphony with the New West Orchestra at the age of 16. But it was while in college, studying abroad at the University of Kent in England, that Nicholas decided to switch from classical and begin seriously studying jazz.  He worked with jazz pianist David Rees-Williams in Canterbury, and upon returning to his home school, U.C. Berkeley, he joined ensembles in the UCJazz program, where he improvised over standards and played with different bands.  At this time, Nicholas had still not begun composing his own jazz songs, but that was about to change.  After graduating, Nicholas met guitarist Gary Tobin, who encouraged him to start writing and collaborated on compositions with him. 
On this album Ramsey Lewis and early Herbie Hancock spring to mind.  
I'm old fashioned, I love the moonlight and the gigs where you have a band comprised of individuals rather than electronic digital clones.
Still, if economics and the AFM decree it be so, this is probably as good as it gets.
Available from Nov. 1 via Amazon and the usual suspects.
Lance.

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