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The Nights of Bradley's

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Album Review

Pianist Kirk Lightsey and bassist Rufus Reid first played together on a regular basis as members of Dexter Gordon's quartet in the 1980s. Their duo session is particularly special due to the tight musical communication between the two players, and the fact that it took place at Bradley's. Open for 25 years in New York and usually featuring piano/bass duos, Bradley's was one of the Big Apple's top after-hours clubs and a place for pianists to play before their peers. Lightsey and Reid (who is showcased on Benny Golson's "From Dream to Dream") explore seven sophisticated compositions, all but Johnny Mandel's "A Time for Love" originating in the jazz world. The two musicians are heard at the top of their game (which two decades later they happily still are) and come up with an endless series of fresh variations, including on Wayne Shorter's haunting "Speak No Evil" and a cooking rendition of "Oleo."


Born: 15 February 1937 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

A pianist who is not a trendsetter but is consistently excellent, Kirk Lightsey long ago developed his own sound within the hard bop tradition. He started playing piano when he was five, although he also played clarinet while in high school. Lightsey worked in Detroit and California in the early '60s, often accompanying singers. He gained some attention in 1965 when he recorded with Sonny Stitt and was on five Prestige records with Chet Baker. However, Lightsey mostly had low-profile gigs until he...
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The Nights of Bradley's, Kirk Lightsey
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