Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
24bit digitally K2 remastered.
24bit digitally K2 remastered.
Variety Is The Spice Of Wright
Andre' S Grindle | Bangor,ME. | 11/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After hearing "'Nard" the one definitive impression you'll have is that New York pianist Bernard Wright has a large number of musical influences ranging from Herbie Hancock,George Duke,Lenny White and of course Dave Gruisin (his producer) and Miles Davis.But one thing the 16 year old musician does very well is find unique and creative ways of gathering his influences into his own special kind of musical sound.Released on vinyl in 1981 on GRP "'Nard" is at it's core a funk-jazz album,but all that means is that the backup has a rhythmic R&B style over whitch Wright plays very memorable and often improvised solo's on his acoustic piano,fender rhodes and sometimes the occational synthesizer.But only on the spiky funk of "Just Chillin' Out" and "We're Just The Band" do synths play that big a part."Master Rocker","Spinnin'","Firebolt Hustle" and the jamming "Bread Sandwiches" are all based on a chunky backup of guitars,rhythms and often sudden melodic exchanges,that plus the comically absurd vocals of "Haboglabotribin'" brings up the George Duke connection.The general sound (especially on the one ballad "Music Is The Key" showcases Bernard Wright as an artist with a firmly established 1970's-based sound-the electronics and glossy sheen of 1980's style jazz-funk an R&B in general are not to be found in huge doses on 'Nard'.But thanks I'm sure to poor promotion on GRP's part this album (and artist in general) have gone almost forgotton until this CD reissue.I baught it only on customer recommendation and I couldn't be more pleased with what I heard.And despite it's often hefty price tag 'Nard' will be more then worth the investment.I recommend it not only as an ear pleasing guidebook for other aspiring young musicians but to any fan of late 70's/early 80's transtional jazz-funk in general.
Bernard Wright's debut- 'Nard
Ol Skool | Amarillo, Tx | 07/01/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"1980, This cat "Bernard" was only 16 years old when he made his debut album-'Nard.
At the time I was only 14 years old and I was hooked on "Haboglabotribin'" that was my Jammmm!! along with "Master Rocker" and "Chillin' Out". These jams were real funky and I was a true funkster at age 14.
Now 20 years later I am a Jazz head and listening to "Firebolt Hustle", "Bread Sandwiches" & "Solar" The Piano riffs that Bernard plays to be just 16 years old is unbelievable. This cat plays like he's a 30 year veteran.
The combination of Funk & Jazz that Bernard brings is truly a worth while investment. I recommend this CD to any music lover of Jazz or Funk to be put as a collector's item"
"'Nard" - a classic jazz-funk masterpiece!
Olukayode Balogun | Leeds, England | 07/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I reviewed two Tom Browne CDs from the early 80s recently and one of the people who worked on both albums was keyboardist Bernard Wright. A child prodigy from Jamaica, Queens, who'd been playing with jazz ensembles since the age of 8, Wright was touring with legendary drummer Lenny White by the age of 13 and started playing with fellow Jamaican Tom Browne in 1979. Wright was just 17 years old when this groundbreaking album was recorded in 1980. Producers Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen must have been so impressed with his talent that they decided to produce his debut album themselves. They subsequently signed him to GRP records in 1981, when this album was released.
Wright plays a variety of keyboards here, including acoustic & electric piano, Rhodes electric piano, Yamaha CP-80 electric piano, OBX synthesizer and clavinet. The maturity in his playing is self-evident but then so also is the youthfulness in his music. Just check out some of the titles: Bread Sandwiches; Just Chillin' Out; Haboglabotribin'. I remember reading somewhere that this was a young man who, at the time, loved clubbing and was more into the music of people like Kool & The Gang than he was of Herbie Hancock (although Hancock himself was enjoying a very commercially successful flirtation with club music around this time). While he definitely wanted to do jazz, he also wanted to make the kind of music that his peers and fellow clubbers could get into. So while what we get in the end is not as sophisticated a sound as what Tom Browne offered, for instance, it is certainly a lot more fun. The emphasis is definitely more on the 'funk' element of jazz-funk.
"Haboglabotribin'" was huge on the jazz-funk scene back in the day and even though the album was never released here, it was one of those tunes that made the transition into that most revered of categories among UK soul heads: It became a rare groove tune. In fact the tune is on one of my many rare groove compilation CDs alongside tunes like Chocolate Milk's "Action Speaks Louder Than Words", Weldon Irvine's "I Love You" and Don Blackman's classic gem, "Holding You, Loving You".
My favourite tunes on here include: the opener, "Master Rocker", written by Wright, Ronny Miller & Weldon Irvine; "Haboglabotribin'", written by Don Blackman; "Just Chillin' Out", with music written by Marcus Miller and lyrics by Wright, Al "Wink" Flythe & Barry "Sunjon" Johnson and "Bread Sandwiches" (the reason why I bought the CD in the first place), written by Wright, Denzel "Wink" Miller Jr & Steve Teele.
But also notable are "Music Is The Key", written by Weldon Irvine & Tommy Smith, with touching if not accomplished lead vocals by Wright himself and background vocals by Patti Austin & Luther Vandross, no less; "Spinnin'", written by Al "Wink" Flythe, which, as my good friend Derek has pointed out below, was later sampled by Skee-Lo for his 1995 hit "I Wish" (as a vertically challenged man myself, that song has always had a particular resonance) and the Miles Davis tune "Solar", which is the only tune on the album with any real jazz pretensions. Wright shows his chops with a style that's complicated and demanding on the listener (he's more definitely Brad Mehldau than Lyle Mays) but I agree with Derek: The tune is completely out of place on this set.
Wright put out a few other albums after this one and the working partnership with Marcus Miller that seemed to work so well here (Miller also arranged some of the tunes) went on. He also continued to work with Lenny White, including on "Blow" a 1982 album by Bobby M that I have on cassette but can't seem to find on CD anywhere for love or money.
At any rate, this is definitely the album to get. It'll be a collector's item one day - if it isn't one already."