Since the whole world is watching Pennsylvania these days, let’s celebrate neo-soul and jazz fusion trombonist Jeff Bradshaw, who was born in North Philadelphia and as it turns out, hast just released his new album “Stronger” today. It is full of surprises and guests and features brilliant production work and almost 70 minutes of pure class, five years after his equally enjoyable “Home“.
Lots of great original material and very cool cover versions grace the album. We get a very lively “Capetown” which features Mike Burton, who is also guest with Paula Champion on “Pretty Baby”, another fancy neo-soul meets fusion bouncer. Highlights include a brilliant interpretation of Stevie Wonder‘s “Superwoman” with the first part handled by the much too seldom heard Glenn Lewis and the second part masterfully crafted by the one and only Frank McComb. Jeff also has a very thick and funky re-work of the Jones Girls classic “Nights Over Egypt” and a wonderful cover of Herbie Hancock‘s “Butterfly” which features Christian McBride and James Poyser.
Amber Navran of Moonchild makes a guest appearance (as she did with the group on Jarrod Lawson‘s album of the year which just came out) on “Betta”, a soulful gem of a track which gains with each listen. Jeff’s trombone work is on-the-spot and well-rounded throughout and fellow trombonist Trombone Shorty opens the album with an irresistible jam called “War And Thunder”. Elsewehere on the record, there are brilliant ballalds and slow jams with Raheem DeVaughn and Robert Glasper (“Prototype”), Conya Doss (“Celebrate”), and Marsha Ambrosius (“I Do (Sincerely)”. An album which makes a lot of fun. Highly recommended.