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Willie Bradley – Going With the Flow

Dec. 29, 2017

Charismatic, smooth jazz trumpeter master Willie Bradley is back on the scene with a brand new release entitled Going With the Flow. Packed with much of the funk, charm, and sophistication that came with his debut release Another Day & Time, a blockbuster introduction to the effervescent artist who possesses as much showmanship and professionalism as you could ever hope from an artist on his way up the smooth jazz ladder of success.

Joining Bradley here on select tracks is an array of top quality artists including keyboardist/pianist/producer Bob Baldwin, guitarist Adam Hawley, multi-instrumentalist Greg Manning, and Manhattans lead singer Gerald Alston.

Mixing sophisticated jazz and soul/funk is Bradley’s tell-tale trademark and is clearly on display on this album.

Cleverly handling tunes penned by both himself and others, Bradley stands out as the consummate musician, and his horizon looks quite bright with promise.

One of the standouts here is his handling of the classic Sly & The Family Stone’s “Running Away” — not to be missed.

Other tracks of note include but are not limited to the Bobby Wells-penned cool and clean “Aspen,” the snappy, mid-tempo and funky “Bring Your ‘A’ Game” (which he clearly does), the finger-snappin’ title track, the mellow R&B drenched vocals of Gerald Alston, a personality fans of The Manhattans know only too well, on “In the Meantime,” and the solid horn arrangements and melodic groove found on the soothing and slick “Sweet Distractions.”

This is a distinctly full-bodied, very brassy, well-produced effort that further illuminates this trumpeter who obviously puts his all into what he presents here. Take it to the bank that this is – at the very least — as satisfying as his previous project. A two-thumbs-up album. – Ronald Jackson