Brad Myers

Downbeat

Vintage Guitar Magazine

VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE - OCTOBER 2015

"Fine combo jazz high-lights this release from Myers. His soloing and comping are textbook examples of how to play with smarts and soul. “The Big Push” is a good place to start for a helping of his ability to build a solo. Great intensity and empathy are on full display." – JH

ContemporaryFusionReviews.com

Brad Myers – Prime Numbers

November 20, 2016

Brad Myers – PRIME NUMBERS:  This is my first listen to Brad’s laid-back guitar jazz style; only fitting, since this is his first outing as a leader.  He’s got a splendid group of players for this album, too – Chris Barrick on vibraphone, tenor Ben Walkenhauer doing sax and Peter Gemus on bass, with Tom Buckley on drums – and it shows brilliantly on tunes like Wayne Shorter’s “The Big Push“… each of the players takes a turn at interpreting this down & funky tune, and it’s clear that they are all very comfortable playing with each other – no “rush”, no “overdoing it”… this is a highly talented group of players who are only about the music!You also get to hear six Myers originals… I was very, VERY impressed with Brad’s opening track, “Bentley’s Blues“… to the point that it repeats on my player, well… repeatedly, lol… the “conversation” between Brad’s guitar and Chris’s vibes is potent and penetrating, in a laid-back sorta’ way.  It was the longest piece on the album (11:40), “Rule of Threes“, another Brad original, that got my vote for personal favorite – no doubt about that… of course, with that amount of time, you know the players each have plenty of time to do their own dialogs, and the “pacing” is pure perfection.  I’m mightily impressed, and can predict that you’ll be hearing much more from these folks in the coming months & years.  I give Brad & his band-mates a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this excellent jazz experience.  Get more information on Brad’s page for the album.        Rotcod Zzaj

IAJRC Journal Spring 2016

www.tomajazz.com

www.tomajazz.com review from Spain translated by Brigid Snow

Prime Numbers is the band-leading debut of Brad Myers, guitarist and composer who lives in Cincinnati (Ohio). This musician's professional background includes collaborations with, among others, John Scofield, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Stanley Jordan and Jeff Coffin. This album, the culmination of five years of work by this group, especially highlights the tenor sax/guitar/vibraphone combination, which contributes a captivating sound and suggestive rhythms. The music included in Prime Numbers provides constant dialogues of trios and duets, but without losing rigor as a group.

Myers, on guitar, and Barrick, the vibraphone, express themselves in harmonic interaction full of creativity. Meanwhile Gemus on bass and Buckley on drums, perform to a T [perfectly, lit: "to perfection"] like pieces of a well measured gear.

The repertoire consists of six themes of Myers, a couple of arrangements of standards and a few compositions of Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter, exceeding the test with flying colors. The Brazilian airs are felt in "Sunset in Curacao", a samba rhythm in a contagious melody where the combination of tenor and guitar are rocked by the vibraphone. "There is space for Us" flirts with bossanova, in a melodic solo led by the Mavridoglou flugelhorn. There is also space for the ballad "You Are Here" with guitar and tenor in the foreground.It highlights the originality of "Spherical" characterized by rapid and diminished tempos, with the succession of exciting vibraphone and tenor solos with the guitar highlighting; all supported by a flawless rhythm section. An album that convincingly blends the modern with the classic and gives free rein to the collective imagination of the group with large spaces for improvisation.

musiczoom.it

MUSIC ZOOM.IT

Translated by John Sheil

"To a few the name Brad Myers is known, a guitarist that has played with many greats of jazz and pop, a sideman of the highest order who is often sought after in the recording studio. Now that he is advanced in years, he has decided to publish a disk of the highest quality, in which it reveals an experienced musician who knows how to lead a group and bring forth his own ideas, through the tradition of jazz and more modern sounds that flow into jazz rock. It is an undertaking that succeeds with ease in a mainstream of pleasing tones in which the sidemen also do their duty. The sound of the band is rather original, with the vibraphone of Chris Barrick and the tenor sax of Ben Walkenhauer aiding in intertwining melodies and rhythms that the listener should well notice. To complete the group, there is Peter Gemus on bass, and Tom Buckley on drums. Michael Mavridoglou plays a long flugelhorn solo on “There is Space for Us.” The compositions are the leaders, together with “Evidence” by Thelonious Monk, which is well executed, with the angularity and in which Meyers takes a resounding solo. “The Big Push” by Wayne Shorter, where the tenor saxophonist gives his best together with the vibraphonist, notable is the theme and notable are the solos. To close the album, is the famous standard “Invitation” by Kaper/Webster. Among the compositions of Myers there is to put in evidence, Sunset in Curacao, together with Rules of Three in which one should be warned there is veiled atmosphere of jazz rock. The entire album distinguishes itself for notable solos and the sense of compactness that it conveys, one should note that it is guided by an expert hand in the studio and the mixing. And in fact, it is enjoyed at home in various reviews (including the most famous, such as Down Beat) who write about jazz. It is one of these disks that doesn’t revolutionize the genre mainstream but which one re-listens to willingly and that demonstrates, as if there were need to demonstrate, the high level of the technical execution of the American musicians."

Jazz Weekly.com

Brad Myers brings his electric guitar to lead a team with Chris Barrick/vib, Ben Walkenhauer/ts, Peter Gemus/b and Tom Buckley/dr for some bouncing and swinging material. He shows his allegiance to all things Monk by delivering a joyful “Evidence” that snaps like dry twigs and then with his own “Spherical” which has a clever military beat provided by Buckley. Extra horns by Dominic Marino/b and Michael Mavridoglou/tp creat a pastoral journey on “Rule Of Threes” while Mavridoglou’s horn fills in with the sly and latin groove on “There Is A Space For Us.” Myers himself is gracious and meloidic on the gentle “The Big Push” and subtle and suave on “Bentley’s Blues”  Walkenhauer’s tenor and Barrick’s vibes create a nice hip atmosphere that swings well on the upscale “Invitation” and easily grooving “Sunset In Curacao.” Very impressive team effort.

MWE3.COM

COLLOQUY RECORDS - The 2015 CD release of Prime Numbers by guitarist Brad Myers is a wild romp through the art of 21st century instrumental jazz. Prime Numbers is more like 20th century jazz but as Brad’s music clearly points out, the best guitar music is timeless. Brad receives ace back up from his band mates, Chris Barrick (vibes), Ben Walkenhauer (sax), Peter Gemus (bass) and Tom Buckley (drums). The sound of Prime Numbers is so finely wrought that it almost sounds like chamber jazz and the mix of vibes and jazz guitar is pure magic the hand of these great players. Along with the originals by Myers are covers from jazz legends such as Thelonious Monk and Wayne Shorter. Clearly Prime Numbers falls into the realm of postmodern bop-jazz, yet it’s also very well recorded and very contemporary at times, proving the best musical styles never go out of style, especially guitar jazz. www.MusicByBrad.com

lajazz.com

Brad Myers - Prime Numbers
Colloquy Records

Brad Myers, electric guitar; Chris Barrick, vibraphone; Ben Walkenhauer, tenor saxophone; Peter Gemus, acoustic bass; Tom Buckley, drums and cymbals; Michael Mavridoglou, trumpet, flugelhorn; Dominc Marino, trombone.

Brad Myers cut this jazz guitar album in Cincinnati, Ohio and he has composed six out of the nine songs and arranged most of them himself. Chris Barrick (vibraphonist) arranged "The Big Push by Wayne Shorter and the familiar standard, "Invitation."

Bentley's Blues is the first smokin' cut where Ben Walkenhauer is strongly favored on tenor saxophone. It has a 'Pink Panther' feel to the melody and tempo and it's bluesy. Barrick is prominently featured on vibes, while Myers holds the swing in place on electric guitar with Tom Buckley on drums. You can never lose when you choose a Thelonius Monk song, and that's the case when the group tackles "Evidence." One other favorite on this compact disc is the Myers original, "Spherical."

The title of Myers' record company, 'Colloquy', means discussion, conference; a dialogue or meeting. Myers has put together a band that works together like a well greased machine. They exemplify his record company name.

Gaslightproperty.com

Prime Numbers, The Debut Album by Jazz Guitarist Brad Myers

Brad Myers Prime NumbersPrime Numbers is the debut album of Brad Myers, a guitarist who’s among the busiest and most high-profile jazz musicians in Cincinnati. The album, which comes out today, has something in common with midcentury modern furniture—sleek, with clean lines, it’s marked by clarity and focus, with an understated postbop coolness. It makes sense that, on this album that primarily consists of the bandleader’s originals, two of the three covers, though decades old, could not seem more modern. Wayne Shorter “The Big Push” and Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence” will forever sound fresh. It’s interesting to hear a tune composed by Monk—who was, after all, a pianist—played without a piano. Here the highly impressionistic and typically sparse harmonic coloring is provided by both Myers and the vibes player Chris Barrick. Without block chords on the piano to potentially gunk up the works, the musicians have all kinds of wiggle room, and their creative use of space takes us to the heart of Monk. The strongest performance may be “Rule of Threes”; it’s certainly the most ambitious, a sprawling and fractured narrative that clocks in at 11:40. The lineup on Primary Numbers is primarily a quintet that includes the tenor saxophone work of Ben Walkenhauer; the tenor can be the heaviest of horns, but here it shares the introspective and lyrical vibe that characterizes the rest of the ensemble. Jazz guitar has a healthy tradition of colorists with a feather-light touch; here Jim Hall and Bill Frisell would seem like influences. Myers may be heard to best effect on his own “You Are Here,”, a sweet ballad that inspires some of his warmest playing. Prime Numbers is a damn good album, and it helps underscore the paradigm shift that has recently taken place in Cincinnati. Last year things certainly looked bleak for jazz in these here parts. The increasingly chaotic Blue Wisp ultimately closed, and we had cause to wonder if the Blue Wisp Big Band would ever find a comfortable home. Well, guess what? Urban Artifact is a hip new venue that hosts lots of jazz, including, every Wednesday, the Blue Wisp Big Band; you can read about it in this previous blog entry. A true tenor heavyweight, recent greater Cincinnati transplant JD Allen released Graffiti, a smoking new album, on Savant in mid-May. The Cincinnati Jazz Hall of Fame was just launched, and Ran Blake just paid tribute to the great composer and musician George Russell, who grew up in Walnut Hills, played in jazz clubs here while in high school, and went on to change jazz history. Blake’s album is called Ghost Tones, and you can count on it and the new JD Allen to show up at the top of best-of lists at the end of 2015. Cincinnati has an amazing jazz history, and it also has a future. If you want a taste of both, check out Brad Myers’ CD release show at Urban Artifact this Thursday; here’s a link to the event. The show is free, but there will be plenty of CDs for sale.

Cincinnati City Beat

'Prime' Time

Cincinnati guitarist Brad Myers takes center stage with his debut solo Jazz album

By Brian Baker · May 27th, 2015 · Music

 

'Prime Numbers,' the new Jazz album from accomplished Cincinnati guitarist Brad Myers, features several original compositions, as well as versions of Wayne Shorter and Thelonious Monk songs. - Photo: Michael Wilson

Guitarist Brad Myers could benefit from shaving down his to-do list. 

So far in 2015, the multi-faceted guitarist has concluded his graduate studies in Jazz at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, planned and executed a big reunion show for local favorites Ray’s Music Exchange, recorded two last sessions for his solo debut, Prime Numbers, and started scheduling the album’s release and subsequent publicity. Oh, and he also teaches private guitar lessons.

“I’m a major glutton for punishment on top of being a fully practicing procrastinator,” Myers says. “I have a hard time saying no.”

To date, Myers’ propensity toward the affirmative has paid incredible dividends. His CCM connections and long tenure with Ray’s Music Exchange have raised his local profile, resulting in performance/session gigs with the CCM Jazz Ensemble, Dave McDonnell and the Steve Schmidt Organ Trio, while his broad range led him to Aja and Savoy Truffle, local Steely Dan and Beatles tribute bands, respectively. Myers also channels his inner Americana child with Jeremy Pinnell and The 55s and Wild Carrot, and has explored new Jazz directions with the funky Bevadores and the rootsy Fraid Knot.

“It’s a diverse palette, but the challenge going forward is going to be to try and find a way to balance those things,” Myers says. “Some things are going to ebb and flow naturally.”

Beyond the satisfaction of finishing school, Myers’ greatest source of immediate personal pride is the creation and self-release of Prime Numbers. Although the album is coming out under Myers’ name, he’s quick to share the credit with the ace band — vibraphonist Chris Barrick, tenor saxophonist Ben Walkenhauer, acoustic bassist Peter Gemus and drummer Tom Buckley, with spot assistance from trumpeter/flugelhornist Michael Mavridoglou and trombonist Dominic Marino — that powers the album’s nine tracks, a group he’s worked with in various capacities over the past five years. 

“There’s a long running Jazz jam session at Stanley’s Pub, and this was one of the core groups there,” Myers says of the quintet.

“It’s a Monday night, low-priority — i.e. low-paying — gig so people come and go. But of all of those incarnations, this one was one of the strongest and most playful, and we were all on the same page. We would take gigs and we did a couple of demo recordings, but none of that was original material. When I had some of this stuff together and wanted to record it, it was like, ‘This group has a great camaraderie.’ So the relationships were old, in that sense, but the material was new. I’m looking forward to playing more of this stuff live with them.”

Prime Numbers is comprised of six original compositions and three covers: Wayne Shorter’s “The Big Push,” Thelonious Monk’s “Evidence” and the standard “Invitation,” written by Bronislaw Kaper and Paul Francis Webster. The band has played the covers extensively (Barrick arranged “Push” and “Invitation” for the album) and included them on the album as an enticement to Jazz fans, but the group truly shines on the originals like the delicately powerful “Bentley’s Blues” and the tropical sway of “There is Space for Us.” Prime Numbers’ highlight is the boldly nuanced “Rule of Threes,” a nearly 12-minute noir-ish Jazz jam that bisects the album’s overall arc, a cinematic side journey that is foreshadowed by the first half of the album and naturally leads to the concluding second half.

“When you look at Jazz recordings, as counterintuitive as it seems to confine the performance, you kind of have to. There’s a time factor involved and there’s people’s attention to consider,” Myers says. “From the beginning, that tune was going to be the one we let go longer and be the centerpiece, stylistically slightly different than the other stuff on the recording but also improvisationally different.” Barrick’s recent move to the Washington, D.C. area means the group on the album likely won’t play out locally too often. But it wasn’t unanticipated. Myers, a Virginia native, notes that he and his bandmates suffer from what he laughingly refers to as “CCM disease,” the tendency for Jazz musicians to relocate here for school and eventually move on. “We all come here with the magnet being CCM, and people tend to stay because the city grows on you — it’s a great place for all kinds of music — but then you cross that threshold of ‘Am I going to stay long term or move on?’ ” Myers says. “There were a number of factors for Chris to relocate and we’re sorry to see him go, but he’ll be back for the release show.”

Myers was always aware such possibilities existed, even as the focus of the album became more defined. He says the plan initially was to give the quintet a moniker without his name in it, but considering it was his material and he was organizing the recording, the guitarist decided to call the group the Brad Myers Quintet and the album was released under just his name. The high chance for lineup shake-ups was also a factor in the solo crediting. 

“(I thought), ‘Is it really the Brad Myers Quintet? Is it always going to be these same people?’ And, of course, with Jazz the answer is no,” he says. “My days with (the revolving lineup of) Ray’s Music Exchange taught me never to rely on having the same personnel. Jazz is a personal journey and you go where it takes you. So we put out the CD under ‘Brad Myers’ for those kinds of reasons.”

Prime Numbers is already generating great reviews, the byproduct of Myers distributing the album to as many media outlets as possible. Though the fanbase for Jazz seems to be shrinking, Myers is heartened by the response so far and the potential for the future. 

“I don’t know what exists in terms of Jazz radio anymore, but (the album is) going out to 250-plus stations around the country, so hopefully we’ll see some interest,” Myers says. “There’s podcasts and blogs and all that, but looking at this list, even the smallest towns have a little Jazz station. It’s still America’s music, right? (laughing) Whatever that means.”


BRAD MYERS hosts a free album release concert June 4 at Urban Artifact in Northside. Visit musicbybrad.com and artifactbeer.com for more info.

Gapplegate Guitar and Bass Blog

Brad Myers, Prime Numbers

Modern mainstream jazz has so many sub-styles attached to it as to almost be meaningless as a category. I won't rehearse all the possibilities here, except to say that a swinging pulse and the presence of chord changes are a common factor for the most part. But that covers a great many approaches. Today's album is mainstream in that sense, yet it has postbop and bop-cool aspects that set it stylistically apart from some of its brethren styles.

Guitarist Brad Myers heads the date and plays some mellow-toned electric with a sort of Jim Hall-Kenny-Burrell-and-after smarts. The vibes (Chris Barrick)-tenor (Ben Walkenhauer)-acoustic bass (Peter Gemus)-drums (Tom Buckley) lineup and playing styles put you in mind of a modern-day equivalent of some of those Atlantic sessions from the fifties where Bags was paired with some contrasting cats. Not that there is a noticeable copycat thing here. No one sounds like they are channeling directly, but there is a heated coolness to the music along with a post-then currency that makes for interesting combinations. And the compositions are beyond in their own interesting way.

Brad has a clean-toned involved playing style that his compositions complement well. "Invitation," a Shorter and a Monk tune round out the program and are given arrangements that freshen the sound. Barrick on vibes, Walkenhauer on tenor and Gemus on bass solo well and show their own personal way within the mainstream currents. Tom Buckley sounds subtle and swinging in the way that a relatively quiet, cool sound demands, and takes a nice solo or two. Michael Mavridoglou and Dominic Marino fill out the sound on trumpet and flugel (for two cuts) and trombone (one cut), respectively.

The music rings true and has enough original and updated to it that you do not feel like you have taken a trip on Sherman's "way-back" machine.

Jazzquad.ru

Translated from Russian by Nick Blasky and comrades...

Who told you American jazz only lives in New York and California? Listen to Cincinnati, Ohio's Brad Myers (Брэда Майерса) debut CD “Prime Numbers” and drop the idea of Jazz being provincial or second rate in the land between these two (major centers). I believe this release provides a path to national fame for Brad, though in his home town he's long been known to be a very accomplished musician and teacher, who's shared the stage with such giants as John Scofield, Stanley Jordan and Bela Fleck among others. And this is evident in the professional mastery of Myers' “Prime Numbers”.

Brad has been playing guitar since childhood. After graduating from The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he gained a wealth of experience working with leading local artists and performing many different styles of music. This has helped to form the long standing relationships he shares with the members of the quintet gathered for “Prime Numbers”. Which, by the way, is not quite the traditional idea of a quintet as the piano has been replaced by the vibraphone, played by Chris Barrick (Крис Баррик). Chris alongside tenor saxophonist Ben Walkenhaur and Brad make up the main trio of soloists. Rythmn section support is provided by Tom Buckley (Том Бакли) on drums, and Peter Gemus (Питер Джимус) on bass. Two compositions for this team (add extra horns).

The foundational sound of this quintet is a dynamic and complex interweaving of three solo voices. Myers however, is not “greedy” on his guitar, and provides a wide palette for his band mates to improvise with. Vibraphonist Barrick's pristine sound gives the recording a unique transparency while saxophonist Walkenhaur provides dramatic definition, as in the end of Ben's solo in “Spherical”. Myers game recalls the style of Jim Hall, the same external symphonic parsimony, with true depth of thought and feeling.

Six of the nine tracks on the album are original compositions by Myers. My absolute favorite of these is the track “You are Here”. A very beautiful and sad theme, that (gently yet powerfully) affects something deep in the soul of the listener. The album also includes versions of Thelonius Monk's “Evidence”, Wayne Shorter's “The Big Push” and the great standard, “Invitation”. The remaining originals are very unique works displaying varied meters and styles, which Myers and colleagues translate through the language of modern, post-bop mainstream jazz with sensitivity and talent that marks “Prime Numbers” as a whole.

Parenthetical phrases are awkward translations that were "clarified" using Google Translate.

Ragazzi

Translated from German by Rachel Habig-Myers and Alyssa Mehnert.

On “Prime Numbers”, Brad Myers presents tracks stamped of Modern Electric Jazz, with a classic American style. The man on the electric guitar is supported by Chris Barrick (Vib), Ben Walkenhauer (ts ), Peter Gemus (acc-b), Tom Buckley (dr, cymb), as well as Michael Mavridoglou (Tr, fl-h) and Dominic Marino (tbn). The young band around the old hand Myers, who wrote all songs except “The Big Push” (Wayne Shorter), “Evidence” (Thelonious Monk) and “Invitation” (Bronislau Kaper and Paul Francis Webster) sounds extremely technically mature. The very close, tangible, direct sound comes out of the speakers airily and almost coolish. Brad Myers plays tenderly and gently, without any dependence to the whole –as Jazz never is- and his band follows in his big footsteps.

Excellent drum work, supported by formidable bass, here low key and foundational, there snappy and soloistic, and the entrancing, grand bravado, and sound technique award worthy recorded Vibraphone playing , doesn’t remain in the back ground for long, but also shapes the perky melodic drives confidently and animatedly. The wind section stands as extras in the room, intervening soloistically here and there, but remaining off to the side and are predominantly not part of the whole arrangement dynamized by the hammer sharp rhythm section of this lively, impulsive earthquake. Myers himself is often reserved, only quietly active on the edge, listens enchanted to his band, and can’t hear enough of this clean, first class (and partially acoustic, thereby occasionally near-Fusion) Electric Jazz. His solos are utmost jazz abstract, delicate, sensitive, and meaty. This band with these songs out of good speakers is a marvel. A day doesn’t need more than this.

The exuberant, easygoing, compelling songs, a total of seven between almost five and over eleven minutes long, make a total of 67:06 minutes of music. Less than an hour of this would not be enough. The entrancement of this radical, technical and at the same time highly emotional Jazz message doesn’t get tired.

Midwest Record

BRAD MYERS/Prime Numbers: A bunch of cats that have been working together in various configurations over the years finally say screw it and throw down their simpatico to form a group sound in a group effort. With the guitar and vibes leading the way, this has all the classic 60s sound and feel of straight and jazz dates by artists that weren't about to be pushed aside by the Beatles juggernaut. Laid back, easy rolling jazz with a tasty vibe that takes you back to the day, kind of, and leaves you in a good place when it's done. Sure handed players that know the ropes, one can only hope this is the first of a series of aural get togethers by this crew because they are leaving us wanting more. Well done.