Featuring: Douglas Bradford (g), John Beaty (as), Pascal Niggenkemper (b), Nicholas Anderson (d)
BAR CODE: 8427328424042
01. Drink Up 7:21
02. Fast Talker on a Slow Walk, Part I 4:32
03. Fast Talker on a Slow Walk, Part II 5:47
04. Nice View 7:13
05. Bastard in a Basket 7:41
06. Deep Water Horizon 6:00
07. Umbra 10:42
08. Wisteria 6:49
All compositions by Douglas Bradford
Douglas Bradford (guitar), John Beaty (alto sax), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass), and Nicholas Anderson (drums).
Recorded by Michael Perez Cisneros at Peter Karl Studios, Brooklyn, New York, March 24 & 25, 2011
Assisted by Paul Occhialini & Tyler McDiarmid
Mixed by Tyler McDiarmid
Mastered by Mark Wilder
Produced by Douglas Bradford
Executive producer: Jordi Pujol
"Quite a tight, powerful quartet! …This is a most impressive debut from some younger musicians on the ever-emerging New York scene."
– Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
"Douglas Bradford is a very talented guitarist and composer who we will be hearing many great things from. He has a beautiful touch, a unique harmonic sensibility and a musical maturity well beyond his years."
"The session’s best moments are when Tixier and guitarist Douglas Bradford engage in repartée or precise in-tandem playing, splendid platforms for the latter to showcase his inventive approach while more sedate moments reveal his lovely touch."
–Elliot Simon, NYC Jazz Record.
New York based guitarist and composer Douglas Bradford was born in New Orleans, and currently resides in Brooklyn. His debut CD ‘:atlas obscura’ is slated to be released on Fresh Sound New Talent Records in 2012.
He began playing guitar in high school and was educated at the world famous New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts by Clyde Kerr Jr. He received a scholarship to attend the University of New Orleans where he studied with seven-string masters Hank Mackie and Steve Masakowski. In the “Big Easy,” he performed at venues from the Funky Butt to Snug Harbor with local artists including Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown, Mike Lemler, The Hot Club of New Orleans, Ricky Sebastian, The Charles Brewer Trio, Bill Huntington, Adonis Rose, and Micah Herman’s KCNO Jazz Cooperative.
In the year following Hurricane Katrina, he relocated to New York to finish his studies at NYU, graduating with an MA. He has performed at various NYC venues including The Stone, Cornelia Street Cafe, Iridium, Korzo, ABC No Rio, Rose Live Music, Symphony Space, Jazz Gallery, and many others. Recent highlights include the release of Scott Tixier’s ‘String Theory’ on Sunnyside Records in March of 2012. The Charles Brewer Trio released its second outing ‘Contours’ in January of 2012. The Peter Schwebs Quintet recorded its sophomore record ‘In-between Seasons and Places’ in January of 2012 following a German tour of their debut album in 2011.
Recordings include Teo Macero’s The Inner World Jazz Orchestra featuring Dave Liebman, Alex Sipiagin, Larry Coryell, and Lee Konitz; Peter Schwebs “Stories from Sugar Hill” featuring Ari Hoenig and George Garzone for Laika Records, The Charles Brewer Trio “Equilibrio;” and Micah Herman’s KCNO Jazz Cooperative “the Heart and the Crescent.” Douglas has performed at international festivals and venues such as Sant’ Elpidio Jazz Festival (Fermo, Italy), Grand Tour Jazz Festival (Terni, Italy), Villa La Pietra (Florence, Italy), A-Train (Berlin, Germany), Jazz Club Hannover (Germany) and has additionally toured the US, and Central America.
"Debut jazz guitar recordings can easily sacrifice their essential message in favor of stylistic diversity and/or a desire to overimpress with flashiness. The meaning of guitarist Douglas Bradford’s Atlas Obscura, despite its titular allusion to the arcane, rings through loud and clear - beautiful touch, inventive chords and fiery arpeggios in the context of rhythmically complex compositions make for a brilliantly cohesive statement.
Of course it doesn’t hurt that Bradford and altoist John Beaty are totally in synch and that bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and drummer Nicholas Anderson are spot on with Bradford’s somewhat obscure - there I said it - fluid approach to structure.
Take “Fast Talker on a Slow Walk, parts I and II”, where an eccentric melodic figure provides opportunity for Bradford and Beaty to engage in quick mutual chatter, leading to superb alto/guitar voicings. It is left up to Niggenkemper to demonstrate the walk as part II approaches the melody from a bluesy vantage point. The joint alto/guitar improvisation on “Bastard in a Basket” is precise give and take, with each musician counterpointing the other’s silences until Bradford fleetly solos over a quick stepping rhythm that showcases Anderson’s melodic skills.
Though Beaty and Bradford can both spit fire while impressing with their synchronicity, “Deep Water Horizon” is an ethereally beautiful free-floating respite. “Umbra” loosely begins where “Deep Water Horizon” leaves off but the band quickly finds a common groove for what turns into a microcosm of the session. Both Bradford and Beaty open up for some of their finest extended solo work as intriguing chords are interspersed with speedy runs until they coalesce as one. Atlas Obscura is a refreshing debut, highlighting Bradford’s skills as both a guitarist and a strong leader while never losing sight of great group dynamic."
-Elliott Simon (The New York City Jazz Record, Oct. 2012)
"Again the Fresh Sound New Talent label unleashes a new band of NY-based players only one of whom I am previously familiar with. Since moving to NY in the past couple of years, bassist Pascal Niggenkemper has worked with Thomas Heberer, Joachim Badenhorst, Simon Nabatov and Carlo Costa. The opening song "Drink Up" combines both surf-like guitar tone with an uptempo, jazzy groove, sort of like a more swinging version of "Secret Agent Man". Quite a tight, powerful quartet! Mr. Bradford writes quirky, difficult quick-shifting songs which rarely stay in the same place (tempo or structure) for very long.
This keeps the quartet and soloist (either guitar or alto sax) on their toes as the rhythm team is always changing gears. It sounds to me that these young men have listened to enough progressive and/or math rock to give themselves some challenges in terms of complex structures. All solos by Mr. Bradford on guitar and Mr. Beaty on alto sax are spirited and often intense. "Deep Water Horizon" is a haunting, hypnotic piece that reminds me of something Bill Frisell would've done during an earlier more cerebral period. The drifting guitar and sax sound especially ghost-like. On "Umbra", the longest piece, Douglas takes a long solo which tells a story while the rest of the band provides a variety of changing structures to wind through. Mr. Beaty must pick up where Bradford leaves off to complete the spirit of the solo as it swirls through treacherous territory. This is a most impressive debut from some younger musicians on the ever-emerging New York scene."
-Bruce Lee Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)