Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Bobby Bradford Extet: Midnight Pacific Airwaves

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Veteran cornet player and jazz educator Bobby Bradford has a disciplined, individualistic sound, but he’s sometimes remembered best for his associations: performing with Ornette Coleman’s groups in the ’50s and ’60s and working in tandem with John Carter from 1969 until the clarinetist’s death in 1991.

This live radio recording from Los Angeles in 1977 captures a forward-thinking Bradford jousting with flutist James Newton alongside Richard Rehwald on bass and John Goldsmith on drums. The compositions were all written by Bradford, save a smart, emotive rendition of “Blue Monk.” Bradford reveals his skills as a cooperative player, leading his Extet with easy confidence and remaining consistently responsive to Newton’s expositions on flute. The rhythm section of Rehwald and Goldsmith play quite well together, energetically propulsive when appropriate and providing plenty of space for the soloists to explore the tunes. Both Bradford and Newton solo extensively, and they do so with thoughtful skill and controlled passion. The 1977 tracks also display a great amount of free playing, but the music is well grounded and rarely reaches the outer limits of the avant-garde.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.