(Emanem)

This is jazz as it should really be, ladies and gentlemen. Leading a great quartet with Trevor Watts, Kent Carter and John Stevens, Bobby Bradford’s beautiful cornet fluctuates in the air while singing lots of flowing melodies, constantly jumping borders between “free” and “thematic” approaches. The plurality of thoughts and the radiant undercurrents coming out of this much deserved reissue (of 1974/76 Emanem vinyls) bring us back to a time where art and “first impulse” acts had their rewards, as opposed to today’s “corporate jazz” careerism. Watts fiercely blows his lips off throughout, his alto and soprano voices well beyond the trite “body and soul” definition. Carter and Stevens, more than a rhythm section, resemble a couple of lamp-carrying road openers showing the way to the colleagues who will have to build from there. The high point is a memorable dialogue between Bradford and Watts in a piece called “She (Woman)” – quintessential counterpoint from the heart.

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