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107 107 In the Shade

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Album Review

Alex Bugnon's commercial pop-jazz output of the early to mid-1990s wasn't fantastic, but it did indicate that he had some potential as both a pianist/keyboardist and a composer. Generally more substantial than most of the other albums that smooth jazz stations played in 1991, the uneven, erratic 107 in the Shade is far from a gem, but has its moments. Bugnon gets into a pleasant, Joe Sample-ish groove on "Paris and May" and "When I Think About Home," whereas the much too brief "Fly, Spirit, Fly" hints at Pat Metheny. It was obvious that Sample was a major influence on Bugnon, although there were also traces of Ahmad Jamal in his playing. One of the CD's main flaws is Bugnon's tendency to overproduce — like other Bugnon releases, 107 in the Shade could have used a lot more improvising and a lot less producing and arranging. Despite a few memorable cuts, Shade really isn't worth the price of admission; it's clear that Bugnon is capable of much more.


Born: 10 October 1958 in Montreux, Switzerland

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Contemporary jazz keyboard player Alex Bugnon, nephew of trumpeter Donald Byrd, grew up going to the Montreux Jazz Festival in his hometown in Switzerland. He attended the Paris Conservatory of Music for two years, then moved to the U.S. and went to the Berklee School of Music, meanwhile performing as an accompanist to gospel groups. He spent four years working as a session musician in New York, backing urban and jazz performers such as Patti Austin, Freddie Jackson, James Ingram, and Keith Sweat....
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107 107 In the Shade, Alex Bugnon
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