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Bohemian Sun

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Album Review

Although Sunnie Paxson has made one previous album as a leader, 2002's Groove Suite, she is known primarily for her performances in groups and as a studio musician. For much of her career, she has been a protégée of Stanley Clarke, and that association continues on her second solo album, 2011's Bohemian Sun, which is being released through Clarke's Roxboro Entertainment Group, and on which he serves as producer and executive producer, as well as playing bass throughout. That might suggest a smooth jazz outing in the manner of Groove Suite, but for the most part Bohemian Sun is a straight-ahead traditional jazz collection, albeit with a few variations. The basic band is a trio consisting of Paxson on piano, Clarke, usually on acoustic bass, and either Michael White or Ronald Bruner Jr. on drums. Paxson, who composed most of the tunes, naturally takes the lead on playing them, but Clarke is much more than the usual bass accompanist, taking many solo and creating his own busy patterns behind Paxson even when he isn't right up front. A good example of this is found on the version of Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance." Paxson's "One Step Beyond" finds Rohan Reid stepping in on electric guitar and Clarke switching to electric bass. They handle the introduction, after which Paxson comes in, with a string section providing a contrasting pattern. A member of that string section, cellist Vlad Dikau, gets a notable showcase during a treatment of "Stella by Starlight." Clarke gets his most prominent performance in the standard "There Is No Greater Love," accompanying his own lengthy bass solo with scatting. Paxson finally gets a reading of Charles Mingus' "Duke Ellington's Sound of Love" to herself toward the end of the disc, but it's one of the shorter tracks on the album. That ought to be the closer, but a soul-pop song, "Say a Prayer (For the Day of Atonement)," composed by Paxson, has been tacked on at the end, dominated by Rod Maurice's vocal. Presumably, that's to get some airplay for the collection, even though it is anything but typical of the rest of Bohemian Sun.

Customer Reviews


Seriously, this is the very first review??? How is that possible??

My 2 favorite tracks on the CD are Seabound and One Step Beyond.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

An accomplished performer, composer, and songwriter, Sunnie Paxson embarked on a solo career of her own in 2002 after years of playing music with others. During the late '80s, she worked extensively with Stanley Clarke, gaining much of the experience she would later use to launch her own career. Throughout much of the '90s, she worked as a session musician in Los Angeles, where she remained quite busy and made important industry contacts. Finally, after years of contributing to the work of others,...
Full Bio
Bohemian Sun, Sunnie Paxson
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Contemporary Jazz, Rock
  • Released: Oct 24, 2011
  • Clean

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