It’s the kind of aural utopia for which true music lovers literally salivate: lush, live instrumentation anchoring multiple textures and tempos in each selection, all enhanced by a dream line-up of guest players and vocalists. Such moments are best experienced as they happen, but the next best thing is a skillfully rendered live CD, which is what Jeff Bradshaw has accomplished with his first-ever recording for Shanachie Entertainment, Home: One Special Night At The Kimmel Center.
Recorded on-site last May in Philadelphia and executive-produced by Grammy-Award-winning performer Robert Glasper, the title of Home describes exactly what it is: the celebration of a Favorite Son by fans and peers and the culmination of Bradshaw’s lifelong dream to share his gifts before the city that nurtured him. Leisurely paced, yet energetically conveyed, Home retains a ‘grown and sexy’ vibe throughout, thanks to his trombone lacing up classic covers (“Open Your Eyes,” “All This Love”) and a sumptuous variety of jazz-laden, funk-fringed and even gospel-inflected original jams (including a studio recording).
Due to the ‘cool-like-dat’ vibes (one can practically imagine chilled juice goblets, loosened evening ties and pedicured toes swaying to the grooves) and seamless sequencing from one number to the next, Home qualifies as a selection that can satisfyingly stream non-stop: “Love,” the early Musiq Soulchild hit, is turned into a lilting and inspirational hymn via Kim Burrell; Donny Hathaway’s “The World Is a Ghetto” is made blustering and brassy thanks to adding the incomparable Najee, Tony Moore and Jehovah’s Chosen; and “What Must I Do,” performed with Kenny Latimore, starts off sweet and segues into raw, guttural pleas that leave fans clamoring eagerly in their wake. [READ MORE]