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Cindy Bradley — Natural

July 10, 2017

While this one was a bit delayed in getting to me, I am thrilled to be able to offer my two cents on this gem of a recording by the one and only trumpeter Cindy Bradley, an A-list artist ever since she burst onto the C-jazz scene years ago with her 2009 debut release Bloom. Here with Natural, yet another release that promises to capture and mesmerize, the sexy and mega-talented trumpeter continues with her signature blend of high quality jazz combined with sassy, funky, and soulful melodies and rhythms.

Bradley, as usual, comes prepared, assembling top-tier support via guest appearances by the masterful flutist/saxophonist/arranger David Mann, super-guitarists Nick Colionne and Chris Standring, the lovely saxtress Paula Atherton, the ever-competent bassist Andre Berry, and others who bring their A game to this highly charged project.

A true jazz artist and aficionado of the genre in every sense of the word, Bradley brings with her a Bachelor’s degree in jazz education and a Master’s in jazz trumpet performance, has conducted numerous workshops, and has garnered numerous awards dating back to her debut release (which, by the way, caught the C-jazz world by storm). Her style is so fluid, full of light and life, and delivered in such an almost effortless, second nature manner that it’s easy to see how she arrived at the title for this latest work.

Natural is at once vibrant, jazzy, and soulful. From the feel-good, up-tempo lead track, “Girl Talk” featuring Atherton working her sax magic in a cool “conversation” with Bradley’s trumpet to the funky Boz Scaggs-like cadence of “Category A” featuring Standring to the tantalizingly beautiful “Everyone But You” all the way to the gentle and dreamy finale “Coco’s Lullaby,” Bradley turns the charm knob all the way up to 10.

Those who’ve followed Bradley since her 2009 debut will not be at all surprised that she is in keeping with her musical essence here. Settle into this Natural groove and let it completely wash over you. – Ronald Jackson