Brad Whiteley has made a name for himself as a musician’s musician, a New Yorker who makes everything sound better – whether as the longstanding keyboardist in alt-pop star Regina Spektor’s group, as keyboardist in the pit band of Broadway musical Avenue Q or as music director and organist for the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in the Bronx, not to mention playing keyboards or programming synths for recording sessions of every stripe. Moreover, the Bronx-based Whiteley – as pianist-organist, composer and improviser – has the soul and touch of a jazz musician. For his debut album as a leader, Pathless Land (Destiny Records), he earned a four-star review from DownBeat, with the magazine also making the Destiny Records release an Editor’s Pick in June 2014 – dubbing Whiteley “an exciting young artist to watch.” This ever-busy performer released his sophomore Destiny album as a leader – the dynamic, melody-laced Presence – in October 2018. Bringing 11 of his original compositions to vibrant life, the new album sees Whiteley on piano lead an ace band of New York players: Michael Eaton (tenor saxophone), Tom Guarna (electric guitar), Matt Pavolka (double-bass) and Kenneth Salters (drums). Presence incorporates a characteristically wide world of influences into a warm, engaging whole, with Whiteley’s hooked-filled writing and fluid pianism leading the way.