Montreux, Switzerland born contemporary jazz pianist Alex Bugnon
enthused the smooth jazz audience with albums such as Love
Season (1989), Head Over Heels (1990), 107
Degrees in the Shade (1991), This Time Around (1993),
Tales from the Bright Side (1995), As Promised
(2000), Soul Purpose (2001), Southern Living
(2003), Free (2005) and Going Home (2009).
The latter album was already released on Bugnon's label
Xela Records. Now he returns with the album Harlem. The album
starts with the slow paced
Bridging The Gap with Alex Bugnon
on piano accompanied by Poogie Bells (drums), Jeremy McDonald (bass)
and Keith Robinson (guitar). The melodious piece gives him enough
approaches to put his dexterity on the piano to the test.
Curtis Mayfield's album Super Fly was one of the pioneering
soul concept albums. Alex presents from this album the track
Pusherman and shines on piano and Wurlitzer organ. Preach
Freedom's percussion delivers an authentic rhythm background.
Night In Tunisia by Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Paparelli,
a popular jazz standard, is interpreted by Bugnon the acoustic way.
He designed the original brass piece around a trio with Poogie Bells
on drums and Jeremy McDonald on acoustic bass.
The song River Seine features lead singer Maysa
by background singers Martha Redbone, Keith Anthony Fluitt and Lisa
Fischer and Alex on Fender Rhodes. A reminiscence to the style of the
group Incognito. Stevie Wonder's offers so many heartfelt emotion.
With sonorous keystrokes Alex elicits the song its magic and expands
it to unexpected solos.
Lush Life is a jazz classic by Billy Strayhorn. Alex Bugnon
honors this great composer and performer with his own tribute.
Seamlessly in style follows Burt Bacharach's A House Is Not A
Home, which Alex performs with great empathy. Mikell's was a
jazz club on the corner of 97th Street and Columbus Avenue, New
York. Stompin' At Mikell's is Bugnon's very own homage with
a splash of Birdland.
My personal highlight of this album is Manhattan Lullaby,
which can be measured by its intensity with pieces by Pat Metheny.
Composer of this song are Alex, Charles Bell, Victor Bailey and
Frederico Pena. The contemplative Up There On The Mountain
was inspired by a theme of Jean Bovet. Final piece of the album is
the swinging Jungle Bells. Alex is humming and piano
performing like for example Bud Powell, Cecil Taylor or Glenn Gould.
Thus the circle is closed, which Alex Bugnon encompasses with his
album Harlem. From Smooth Jazz to Bebop and Swing united by
the maestro himself.
Buy the album in all stores
Artist: Alex Bugnon
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Xela Records
01 Bridging The Gap [5:09]
02 Pusherman [5:14]
03 Night In Tunisia [5:20]
04 River Seine [3:40]
05 Summer Soft [4:34]
06 Lush Life [4:24]
07 A House Is Not A Home [6:43]
08 Stompin' At Mikell's [5:01]
09 Manhattan Lullaby [5:49]
10 Up There On The Mountain [5:38]
11 Jungle Bells [5:20]