Like most things in 2020, the concept of contemporary jazz keyboardist Patrick Bradley’s fifth album took a dramatic turn when the pandemic hit. Although ideas for the eleven-song set were already sketched out, when he and producer Darren Rahn wrote the uplifting title track, “Exhale,” the composition seemed to encapsulate exactly what Bradley was feeling and believes that we are all in need of: expel the fear, worry and division gripping the nation and inhale unifying hope and peace.
Bradley recorded “Exhale” during quarantine without ever being in the studio with Rahn, who produced nine tracks for the project, or GRAMMY winner Jeff Lorber, who produced a pair of tunes. The “Exhale” album is a contemporary jazz amalgam constructed of jazz fusion, rock, R&B, blues, funk and pop. The melodies are lush and indelible, fragrantly blossoming amidst soulful grooves. The fusion excursions stretch beyond and across borders. The production deftly melds the warm organics of live instrumentation and the modernity of synthesized sonics.
Recording artists aspire toward a time in their career when their music and the process by which it is realized become as natural as the ordained rushing of a sparkling mountain spring. Keyboardist/Composer Patrick Bradley has arrived at that rarefied space with his 5th album…Exhale.
That he has reached this peak even while working with a new collaborator, producer, saxophonist, composer, multi-instrumentalist Darren Rahn (with Jeff Lorber returning to co-produce 2 of the 11 songs), is even more serendipitous. Exhale sounds and feels as breezy as it was to create – as rewarding for the listener as it is a testament to the growth of the artist. “This fifth record is coming right on track with my every three-year trajectory,” Bradley quietly marvels. “My goal was to continue my musical journey with some accessible radio music but also stick to my Jazz Fusion and Progressive Rock roots. The project was originally going to be titled ‘Providence,’ the theme about being grateful to God and a title track that I almost slotted onto my last record… until I connected with Darren Rahn.
After three successful albums with Jeff Lorber, I felt it was time to explore a different approach, while still retaining Jeff for two numbers. Dave Koz introduced me to Darren and we instantly connected on many levels. We started in late Fall collaborating and preparing songs.
I wanted my new music to provide a release from recent tensions in the world with a Christ-centered foundation. All of these songs are imbued with senses of hope and relaxing – even the more rockin’ ones!”
"Completely Yours" is the follow-up to Bradley's #1 Billboard hit, "Exhale".
My review of the album 'Exhale' is at http://www.keysandchords.com/album-review-blog/patrick-bradley-exhale