Press

Press for Birdhoused

“The group proves itself a freewheeling, loose limbed outfit, full of spontaneity and intricate interplay, with solos—often torrid—all around, bringing to mind Ornette Coleman around the time of Science Fiction.” AllAboutJazz (4 stars)

for Our Roots

“Superb new quintet album… (Bradfield) deserves credit for refusing to take the obvious route in paying tribute to his influences, coming up with something that says much more about himself than Lead Belly or Clifford Jordan.” Peter Margasak, Downbeat (4 stars)

“In the music of Lead Belly and other traditional fare, Bradfield and friends captured the melodic urgency of age-old songs but built complex jazz structures upon them…  intricate solos and cleverly voiced ensemble passages took Lead Belly’s music into distant realms.” Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“There’s something pretty cool about the way saxophonist Geof Bradfield uses old school blues and sacred music of the South as a way to pivot to varying expressions of hard bop, spiritual jazz, modern post-bop and even a quasi-contemporary jaunt on one track, while keeping the different expressions corralled under the basic concept and theme…Between Our Roots and Bradfield’s previous recording Melba!, you’re not likely to find a better one-two combo of successive releases than that.” Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm

“Spirited horn work, a killer bass drum team. There are times this sounds like a Randy Weston set, pared down to its essentials. Some of Melba Liston may have soaked into Bradfield’s DNA. And the sax man at times has the fierce rawness of Dewey Redman or Pharaoh Sanders… These are proud sounds, sometimes raucous and rubbery, spiritual, occasionally brash, and consistently brimming with joy.” Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz (4 and 1/2 stars)

“Bradfield’s quintet uses the wide-open and slow-moving harmonies to create searching improvisations that reach into the vocabulary of free jazz and post-bop but still keep the music accessible…This remarkable album enhances the original visions of Leadbelly, Johnson, and Jordan, while leaving its own unique mark upon the music.” Thomas Cunliffe, Jazz History Online

“Like the work of John and Alan Lomax, the prolific ethnomusicologists who recorded Leadbelly, Bradfield’s inquiries have a depth and range to them; he’s a strategist but also an outstanding performer. It will be fascinating to see in what direction he heads next.” Michael Jackson, Downbeat 

for Melba!

“A heartfelt tribute and an impressive statement.”   **** Downbeat Magazine

“Randy Weston gives saxophonist and clarinetist Bradfield his blessing in the album’s liner notes, and the acclaim is deserved…Bradfield and a sympathetic group expound on each theme with elan and intelligence.” JazzTimes 

“By invoking the spirit of Melba Liston in a highly personal, creative fashion, Bradfield honors her memory as he carries on her legacy.” New York City Jazz Record 

“The long lines, complex themes and meticulous structuring of this score point to the high craft of Bradfield’s writing.”  Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

“… a magnificent recording.” Dan McClenaghan, AllAboutJazz

“Geof Bradfield has drawn plenty of praise for his work as a reed soloist, and it’s all deserved; on tenor and soprano saxes, plus bass clarinet and flute, his muscular, choate solos unfurl with a torrent of detail, even as he sketches the bigger picture. But in the last few years, Bradfield has made just as much impact with his precise and colorful writing, in compositions that evoke a vivid sense of place through the same mixture of detail and sweep.” Neil Tesser, ChicagoMusic.org

“Through all of the score studying, composing, and careful consideration of bandmates, it should not be ignored that the one thing that makes this well-planned suite of music into a fantastic jazz recording is the saxophone playing of Geof Bradfield. Nearly unparalleled on the Chicago scene, Bradfield’s playing is at once inspiring and intimidating… Further still, through all of his high-flying acrobatic saxophone work, he never once loses his intensely personal sound or ability to connect with an audience.”  Alex Marianyi, Nextbop

“The brilliantly orchestrated pieces allow individual band members to step into the spotlight without dominating the scene. The carefully structured role of the instruments, nevertheless allows for creative spontaneity within the framework of each composition. This innovative and seamless fusion of the ad-lib and pre-written makes for a thrilling listening experience. ” Hryar Attarian, AllAboutJazz