PRESS FOR PRESENCE


“Making comparisons with Dave Brubeck can often be a stretch of that same imagination and also a fool's errand. But Whiteley, who navigates his many selves…plays with voicings and instrumental interplay as easily as the old master. It is from this standpoint that Brad Whiteley delivers his gregarious sophomore release. With nary a track shorter than five minutes, Whiteley lets his music breathe, allowing the sextet plenty of thoughtful airspace to interpret and improvise. The wistful choreography of the title track, "When We Met" and "Dawn" bring Brubeck to mind, the tunes wrapping around themselves in various hue and texture and elastic melodies that stretch one to the other and forward. Contemporary jazz at its finest.

—- Mike Jurkovic All About Jazz

“Brad Whitely is no genre purist. All of his compositions twist and turn through multiple styles playfully and effortlessly. His piano playing keeps the melodies prominent but leaves room for impish and restless improvising. Pavolka and Salters maneuver through his work with admirable dexterity while Guarna's and Eaton's contributions provide further body to the whole. This music has deceptive complexity but comes off throughout as fun and smart.”

— Jerome Wilson All About Jazz

“Moment to moment, between tempo changes and grooves, this ensemble interprets Whiteley’s songs with technical precision…Whiteley has a way of settling into a theme and developing it provocatively. As the piece grows, so does the energy. Whiteley’s piano solo unfolds delicately at first, but soon stretches out to build a crescendo of sound. His compositions create a trampoline for the other soloists to bounce upon, showcasing their musical calisthenics.”

— Dee Dee McNeil The Newest Sounds You’ve Never Heard

“Pianist Brad Whiteley explores his thoughtful compositions with a sextet of Matt Pavolka/b, Kenneth Salters/dr, Tom Guarna/g and Michael Eaton/ts. Some sepia hues pervade with Guarna’s guitar on the driving “Dusk” and the country-ish “Dark Days” with a hint of The Bad Plus an influence on Whiteley as he converses with Pavolka on “Everything Changes” and skates with the brushing Salters on the rumbling “When We Meet.” Eaton’s tenor is bluesy on a boppy “K Car Funk ‘83” and is hip along with the leader on a hip “Sunset Park.” Richly hued modern moments.”

— George W. Harris Jazz Weekly

“A New York Maestro: New York City Pianist/Organist/Composer Brad Whiteley’s follow-up to his impressive 2014 Pathless Land is Presence (Destiny Records) where he stretches — really stretches –to include elements of balladry, rhythm, rock, funk, world, avant-garde and even some cool drum ’n’ bass action. His band is amazing, filled with incendiary soloing and ensemble playing by Michael Eaton (tenor saxophone), Tom Guarna (electric guitar), Matt Pavolka (acoustic bass) and Kenneth Salters (drums). Whiteley, the longtime Regina Spector keyboardist, has worked with David Byrne, and has been in the pit band for Broadway’s Avenue Q as well as being the organist at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in the Bronx. His Presence is powerful, filled with 11 originals inspired by the cross-cultural music of Duke Ellington and McCoy Tyner.”

— Mike Greenblatt The Aquarian

“Pianist Brad Whiteley has worked with a diverse array of artists from Regina Spektor to Dave Liebman, not to mention his role in the pit band of Broadway's "Avenue Q." Somehow, Whiteley has found the time to compose and arrange 11 superb tunes, and he wastes no time in revving it up on his excellent new album, "Presence." While his keyboards are front and center, Whiteley leaves plenty of room for his bandmates - Tom Guarna on guitar, saxophonist Michael Eaton, bassist Matt Pavolka, and Kenneth Salters on drums. The opener, "Dusk," is nothing less than a riveting ride. "Sunset Park" begins as a fairly typical blues tune, but once the sax and guitar kick in, watch out. Infectious riffs give way to some great solos by Whiteley, Guarna and Eaton. The title track features one of the key elements of the album: a beautiful blending of Guarna's guitar and Eaton's sax. While most of the album is straight-ahead jazz, these guys don't hesitate to venture into avant-garde territory on the highly atmospheric "Dawn."“

— Ron Netsky Rochester City Paper

“The Straight-ahead: Pianist Brad Whiteley’s “Presence.” Deliciously groovy, hummable, gorgeous ensemble playing from a bunch of New York cats who sound like they know they’ve got nothing to prove but the depth of their musical wisdom.”

— Michael Konik New Music Menagerie

PRESS FOR PATHLESS LAND

4 Stars
“With his first album, Pathless Land, New York pianist-organist Brad Whiteley offers more than a smart record. He shows us how it’s done.”
“Over Salters’ supportive beat and his own deep bass lines, Whiteley gets warm, funky, playful, and enthusiastic. Much like the way he planned out Pathless Land, “Bass Instincts” (Track 3) gives you everything you need, and not a drop more. Because no one needs that extra drop, it’s a waste”
—Brad Farberman Downbeat Magazine July 2014 Issue

“He certainly succeeds in achieving that balance with his nine original compositions here, making Whiteley an exciting young artist to watch. When playing piano, he’s got a great touch and strong sense of melody. When playing organ, he’ll get your feet moving.”
—Bobby Reed Downbeat Magazine Editors Pick June 2014

“Brad Whiteley delivers music that’s easy and enjoyable to traverse.”
“Whiteley’s ability to hone in on an idea and trim away excess…guides and informs this work.”
“everything…is expertly balanced and aligned on Pathless Land.”
—Dan Bilawsky All About Jazz

“Whiteley puts his knack for emotionally vivid third-stream piano on display with “Suite: Contemplation” (Track 4), anchoring Lloyd’s crystalline, deep-sky vocalese with brooding block chords and steady, eerily Satie-esque figures over Salters’ misterioso mallet and cymbal work. Likewise, “Suite: Resolve” (Track 7) mingles darkly latin-tinged phrases and uneasy chromatics over a restless drive punctuated by an elegantly insistent Foose solo and a relentless, shamanic, otherworldly spirit duel between the piano and the drums.”
“The eclecticism of these compositions testifies to Whiteley’s long view of music from Bach to the B3. Yet in the end, Whiteley’s translucent, melodic sound is uniquely his own.”
—Delarue Lucid Culture

“This inspired program is filled with expressiveness and creativity and reveals Whiteley’s limitless imagination. Overall, Pathless Land is sure to interest his fans and attract many new ones. Check it out.”
—Paula Edelstein Sounds Of Timeless Jazz

Press as a Sideman

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“In bringing his music to life, Eaton leverages the talents of his band mates. Pianist Brad Whiteley proves to be the greatest asset here. He builds foundations sympathetic to Eaton’s mindset, moves in lockstep with various players, delivers idiosyncratic thoughts, weaves catchy ostinatos into the fabric of the music, and speaks with authority while doing all of it.”
– Dan Biwalsky All About Jazz

“Organist Brad Whiteley proves to be the perfect foil for Moran’s soloing, supplying the bed for the guitarist’s always-interesting solos. Whiteley also proves no slouch in the soloing department, with imaginative and funky turns on pretty much every cut.”
– John Heidt Vintage Guitar Magazine

“When the organ is in the right hands under these circumstances, as is the case with the Nick Moran Trio’s “No time Like Now,” it can’t help but be an exciting instrument to listen to, in this regard Brad Whiteley has acquitted himself with aplomb on every track; there is no hint of pedagogy in his playing personality, and on the date’s final selection (“Renewal”), he breaks out of his bag with pungent swing, mixed delicately with some Monkish dissonance”
– C J Bond jazmuzic.com