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July/August 2005

Bradley Leighton
Just Doin' Our Thang
Pacific Coast Jazz

On Bradley Leighton's second album, Just Doin' Our Thang, the flutist tackles tunes from points on the musical map as diverse as classic bebop, the Great American Songbook, the Henry Mancini oeuvre and the reflective R&B of Bill Withers. He's backed by an estimable organ trio comprised of Hammond B3 player Rob Whitlock, drummer Duncan Moore and guitarist Bob Boss, Leighton blows on the alto flute for the entire project in an attempt, he says, to inject the music with a warmer and mellower sound than his Brazilian-tinged, 2003 debut, Groove Yard. Does it work? You betcha.

Whether playful on "Summertime" and "Sunny" or jazzy on Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" and his own "Carefree," the flutist keeps his focus on bop and tight musicianship. Familiar tunes like Bobby Womack's "Breezin'" and Carlos Santana's "Europa" get fresh makeovers, and originals like "Lazy Summer Days" show that Leighton can confidently mix in his own tunes with classics.

Originally published in July/August 2005
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