Jazz Professor Earns Terrific Reviews



As noted in recent posts (here and here), Geof Bradfield, assistant professor of jazz studies in the NIU School of Music has been receiving wide acclaim for his playing as well as for his composing. Now, two noted jazz critics have weighed in with their own rave reviews.

In the Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich's review discusses Geof's recent work Melba!. Among his remarks are "The long lines, complex themes and meticulous structuring of this score pointed to the high craft of Bradfield's writing..." and "...Bradfield penned an intricate work cast in several musical episodes. The syncopated, Latin-tinged motif that launched the piece soon made way for uptempo trumpet solos, three-horn choirs, radiant passages for the entire septet and so on." Reich concludes by noting that Geof's writing is "...a sure sign that the art of jazz composition still flourishes in Chicago."

Geof also received numerous glowing remarks in a recent ChicagoMusic.org review by Neil Tesser. Tesser explains "Melba! celebrates the life and career of Melba Liston, the pioneering woman trombonist, composer, and arranger best known for her work in translating the compositions of Randy Weston from the piano to larger groups. Operating with grants awarded by Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Bradfield spent a good deal of time investigating Liston’s original scores, which are right here in town, archived at the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College.

"It’s a lively, lovely suite, bristling with Joel Adams’ trombone fanfares (as you’d expect from a piece dedicated to a trombonist); slyly incorporating Africanized rhythms and echoes of African melody (in a nod to the continent’s strong influence on the best-known Weston-Liston collaborations); and glistening in the funky sophistication that marked orchestral writing in jazz of the 50s and 60s (Liston’s heyday)."

Geof and his collaborators recently concluded recording Melba! - keep your eyes and ears out for it soon!

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