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Album Review: Under the Sun
Patrick Bradley
Cover image of the album Under the Sun by Patrick Bradley
Under the Sun
Patrick Bradley
2011 / Patrick Bradley
52 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
So if you had a career as the Regional President of Whole Foods Market what would you do with your spare time? How about being a “night shift” musician? In Patrick Bradley’s case he decided to enter the jazz fusion genre but with his own spin on things. This talented keyboard player brings a heavy use of the organ to the table fashioning an underlying but distinct progressive almost rock edge to his music. Fuel is only added to the fire by recruiting prominent musician/producer Jeff Lorber and world renowned guitar session players Dwight Sills and Michael Thompson. Of course a jazz fusion creation would be incomplete without its horn players and Under The Sun has many big player surprises resulting in an impressive sophomore recording.

So what is unique about Under the Sun? Seek out “Slipstream” and you will find Rick Braun’s flugelhorn and trumpet driving the song but don’t dismiss the organ and clavinet work of Bradley and Lorber respectively. There is a unique progressive drive and attitude found here that separates Bradley from his peers. That compelling approach is also found on “Time and Chance” and “Crows On The Lawn” with Bradley’s Moog and organ driving the songs, the latter supplemented by Eric Marienthal’s alto saxophone. Similar results can be found courtesy of “The Empress Of Dalmatia” where Bradley allows guitarist Dwight Sills to stretch.

But even when Bradley plays it a little safer he still brings something unique. Check out the more relaxed and viable “Into The Sunset” dedicated to his wife. Here guitarist Michael Thompson brings subtle layers of the sitar, an instrument unique to jazz fusion resulting in a unique seasoning. The same can be said for the reflective “Tears From The Sky” dedicated to his father who recently passed away. Here Bradley’s poignant piano work counters with Sills’ soaring and stirring guitar work. Bradley even adds a little R&B flavor via the slow and sultry “Just Let Go” featuring Dave Koz and sax and IreneB on vocals.

While the theme of Under the Sun would suggest a reference to Bradley’s umbrella musical approach borrowing from multiple musical genres, thematically the albums focuses on the theme of the Biblical book Ecclesiastes. While its author King Solomon struggled with his life experiences, Bradley has managed to draw a positive spin on the recent loss of his parents and sums it up best himself. “These songs were written in times of joy, sorrow and triumph with eye on eternity”. Bradley’s rainbow of emotions transitions to his craft resulting in a very eclectic and impressive album.
May 7, 2011
More reviews of Patrick Bradley albums
Cover image of the album Can You Hear Me by Patrick Bradley
Review by Michael Debbage
Michael's Favorites: 2014