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State of Mind by Alain Bradette

Although State of Mind is Alain Bradette's debut album as a leader he is not a newcomer; he already has a short but hard-hitting list of compositional accolades to his name, and is a full-time band member for Cirque Du Soleil's La Nouba. So, it is not surprising that State of Mind emerges as a confident and well-polished debut, in which Mr. Bradette establishes himself as a fully featured modern jazz saxophonist and composer.

In the title track Mr. Bradette identifies himself as an artist solidly in the post-Brecker tradition; we get the flawless chops, pretty sound, and dramatically swelling compositions that we expect. The supporting cast of musicians glimmer in all the right places, with the spotlight falling more often on pianist Alex Clements than anywhere else. Where the album disappoints is in its failure to provide the unexpected. Despite the inclusion of bass clarinet and alto flute among other eclectic choices in the instrumentation, the complete large ensemble appears on only a handful of tracks, and even then only in a background role. The album sticks instead to the usual saxophone and piano pattern with only a few exceptions.

Perhaps a benefit of sticking to a middle-of-the-road approach is the evenness that marks State of Mind. Mr. Bradette's approach on both tenor and soprano is consistent while his compositions manage to display myriad influences from third stream, to post-bop without making jarring transitions. The album displays a synthesis of a variety of modern jazz influences which result in an album that manages to be well-polished, pretty, and unobjectionable to both casual listeners and jazz connoisseurs, without the spectacular failures or successes that result from taking big risks.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Alain Bradette
  • CD Title: State of Mind
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Tracks: State of Mind, Promenade Sur St-Denis, 21 Août, Sitting on the Edge, Heartsong, My Secret Love, Morning Rain, Serina, The Woman Across the Room
  • Musicians: Alain Bradette (tenor & soprano saxophones), Jason Carder (trumpet & flugel horn), Alex Clements (piano & Fender Rhodes), Mike Iapichino (trumpet), Bobby Koelble (acoustic guitar), Keith Koons (bass clarinet), Eddie Marshall (alto flute), Gerald Myles (drums), Keith Oshiro (trombone), Chris Queenan (acoustic bass)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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