New York, NY…..Jazz pianist Alex Bugnon’s 12th and newest release, HARLEM, is sure to dispel any notion that he can be musically stereotyped. Though he has been one of the most prolific and influential Smooth Jazz artists on the scene for more than two decades, HARLEM demonstrates that Alex’s virtuosity is anything but predictable.
On this latest CD, Alex mixes it up offering the listener some of his own original compositions and flavoring the album with a playlist of classic tunes that he fashioned in his own inimitable style. Alex pays homage to the likes of Dizzy Gillespie & Frank Paparelli (Night in Tunisia), Curtis Mayfield (Pusherman), Stevie Wonder (Summer Soft), Billie Strayhorn (Lush Life), and Burt Bacharach (A House is Not a Home).
A rare and uniquely gifted artist, Alex Bugnon has never shied away from the affiliation to the Smooth Jazz genre – rather, he has resisted been compartmentalized when there is so much more to the man and his music.
HARLEM is layered with his nuanced performances, beginning with “Bridging the Gap”, an original composition that lays the foundation, by offering the listener his signature musical styling and piano phrasing. This is followed by a funky, neo-soul tribute to the classic hit of the 70’s, “Pusherman”. Here you can clearly hear his early R&B, soulful influences garnered touring with artists like Patty Austin & James Ingram, Melba Moore and Freddy Jackson.
Alex offers up a super cool version of the classic, “A Night in Tunisia” and employs Maysa’s distinctive and elegant vocals on the beautifully romantic tune, co-written with Martha Redbone, “River Seine”.
On this album, Alex transitions from the present to the past with ease; from one side of the musical spectrum to the next, using his diverse musicality to bridge the genres, and in the process illustrates his absolute mastery of the keyboard. He jams smooth and easy on the up-tempo rendition of “Summer Soft” and seamlessly steps into a highly sophisticated version of “Lush Life”. Every one of the twelve tracks on this album presents a different side of the artist.
HARLEM is an acknowledgement of Alex’s absolute love affair with music in all of its variances and a testament to his artistic evolution and unrestrained capacity for taking risks.
HARLEM is Alex’s second album on the Xela label and is currently available on iTunes, Amazon.com and CDBaby.