52 Jazz Tracks for 2021 (12. Sho’ Nuff Blues. Bobby Bradford and the Mo’ Tet, 1983)

The twelfth of Jon Turney’s weekly selection (introduced HERE), a beguiling piece of West coast freebop.

Bobby Bradford album coverBobby Bradford’s long-standing Los Angeles based ensemble the Mo’ Tet had just the one studio recording, but it’s a highlight in the great, Ornette Coleman inspired trumpeter’s rather sparse discography.

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This edition of the band has two bassists. Like two drummers this is nearly always a good idea, and Roberto Miguel Miranda and Mark Dresser drive things along merrily. James Kousakis has a piercing tone on alto, and drummer-about-town Sherman Ferguson takes to this freebop session wonderfully well.

But it is Bradford who makes it. His trumpet sound has a vocal quality that brings his near Ornette-level stream of melodic invention alive. These are his tunes, and ShoNuff is a good example. A neat little riff that still has a hummable twist to it, dancing over the beat – rhythm and blues here. Bradfords gorgeous solo is followed by Kousakis, who Im guessing is raising his game in this company, a bit of fun from the two basses, then the two horns together. All simple enough, but satisfying with it.

Its a sunny, outgoing record. All the tunes are somehow straightforward, but memorable, like this. Ever since this release, Ive been on the lookout for more from him in this vein, but its never really shown up. So I’m grateful this particular band went into the studio at least that one time.

LINKS: Listen on Spotify
More on this recording on Jon’s Bristol Jazz Log

Read Jon’s introduction to the ’52 tracks’ series
Week Eleven: The Gardens of Harlem, Clifford Thornton and the Jazz Composer’s Orchestra

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