While smooth jazz continues to linger on life support, Cindy Bradley proves she is one of a handful of artists that is as technical proficient as she is artistically gifted.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
After milking the 2011 stellar release of Unscripted, Cindy Bradley is back better than ever with a contemporary instrumental release that should do serious damage on what is left of smooth jazz and contemporary instrumental radio. Producer Michael Broening understands Bradley's talent and from this Bliss covers a broad sonic spectrum of sound and texture. Granted while the somewhat predictable "smooth jazz" arrangements are really nothing new, Cindy Bradley clearly shows she is a formidable talent that may just now be hitting her stride.
There are some annoying intangibles here with the first being the sexed up cover shot. Clearly wardrobe, hair and makeup were given top priority in creating the perfect package. The senior prom background also reminds us you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Nice but not necessary...talent always wins out. The arrangement of "God Bless The Broken Road" is well...god awful. Creativity at the expense of a mangled melody is not a good idea. Now before fans begin lining up at my door with pitch forks and flaming torches allow me to say that Bliss moves through a variety of genres effortlessly. Cindy Bradley's playing is virtually flawless and with the few exceptions mentioned, Bliss could easily be one of the top selling jazz releases for the year.
I normally would go into more detail on the band members but for the most part you will find the same typical cast of characters here that you will on any T-N-R release. If you are still checking out the cover shot something tells me this is about all the information you want anyway.
Tracks: Button Legs; Bliss; Riverside Jive; Squeeze Me; 49th & 9th; Could It Be You; Comin' Home To My Baby; Lost And Found; Sharp A Strut; God Bless The Broken Road.