Kevin Bachelder and Jason Lee Bruns, Cherry Avenue

by Micha Bellini

Cherry Avenue, features a joint venture between singer Kevin Bachelder and drummer Jason Lee Bruns.  This is an exceptional collaboration focusing on the two most important elements of music, melody (Bachelder) and time/rhythm (Bruns).

Bachelder owns a wide ranging tenor voice that is presented in various styles: swing (straight-ahead and modern), blues, latin, and even pop/easy listening.  Bruns’ solid and creative drum work is the glue that holds Cherry Avenue together.  Bruns’ accompaniment skills are top notch and his brush work is stellar.  

Highlights include: “Dear Prudence,” “Send in the Clowns,” and “Ain’t No Sunshine.” The later finds Bachelder scatting in the vein of Jon Hendricks and Kurt Elling.  On a more traditional note, the swinging numbers that are examples of excellent jazz are: “My Romance” (Bruns’ brush work is excellent), “Autumn Leaves” and “Like Someone in Love.” Also, their original “Cherry Avenue” is a great ending selection and really showcases Bachelder’s melodic delivery in both presenting the melody and scatting a cohesive solo.  Well done guys; we are wanting more albums soon!

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