First Listen: Willie Bradley feat. Gerald Alston – In The Meantime (SoulMusic Records)
Soulmusic.com‘s David Nathan switching to the next gear with the launch of his SoulMusic Records imprint. And in the meantime the setting of a new association with vet producer Preston Glass. This with the aim to release great new Soul, R&B and Smooth Jazz cuts. Which is most likely what they do while putting out the soothing ‘In The Meantime’.
A cool swingalong, ‘In The Meantime’ sees renowned trumpeter Willie Bradley joinin’ forces with first league Soul singer Gerald Alston. With both of them inviting us to search for harmony in the troubled times we’re livin’.
“In the meantime, we got to find a way to live in harmony…” As many words of wisdom, don’t you think?
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– Willie Bradley is a graduate of South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC. There, he earned a BS Degree in Music Education and Performance. Over the course of his career, Willie has played with Jazz greats such as Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Betty Carter and Nat Adderley to name a few. He contributed to the formation of many groups. From Big Bertha to the Willie Bradley Trio. He and Cornell Young (drums) and Ted Ash (keyboards) went on to form Essential Elements. The threesome producing a successful, upscale event the first Saturday of every month in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Bordeaux in Fayetteville, NC.
Bradley had originally met Ted years earlier when the two were part of another group called The Package Band. Cornell had played in numerous rock groups. Collectively, the trio has opened for or played with various smooth jazz and blues artists such as Fourplay, Terry Cummings, Joey Sommerville, and Bobby Blue Bland among others.
Now, Willie Bradley adds to his musical timeline, a burgeoning solo career. The latest episode of it comin’ up under the form of the smooth ‘In The Meantime’ along with Gerald Alston. With a new album – ‘Going With The Flow’ – in the pipeline.
– Henderson, NC native Gerald Alston owes a lot to his belonging to a musical family. The son of Rev. J.B. Alston and the nephew of Gospel great Johnny Fields of the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, he learnt his trade in church. Meanwhile his aunt, Shirley Alston Reeves, was the lead singer of The Shirelles.
As a teen, Alston formed The New Imperials. A group who called themselves The Gospel Jubilee when they performed in churches. During an appearence at his hometown, The Manhattans who needed some extra equipment eventually hired his. When they came to collect it, they eventually heard him rehearsing with his group. Quite impressed, they offered him to join them.
Aged then 17, Alston took over as their lead singer, shortly after the death of George Smith. He remained with them for 17 years. This resulting in the release of countless classics. From ‘One Life To Live’ to ‘There’s No Me Without You’ and ‘Don’t Take Your Love’. But also ‘Kiss And Say Goodbye’. Not to mention ‘Shining Star’ and Crazy’.
From then, Gerald left The Manhattans to pursue a solo career. He recorded 5 solo albums, delivering classics such as ‘Take Me Where You Want To’ and ‘Slow Motion’. This in addition to ‘Send For Me’ which he took from Atlantic Star, and the boiling ‘Activated’ although to a lesser extend.
Finding that his solo career wasn’t what what he thought it should have been, Alston reunited with The Manhattans and Blue Lovett for a 30th year performance. An event which started an ipressive series of live performances nationally and abroad.
Alston is looking forward to a continued singing career and bringing joy, happiness and heart felt soul to his fans around the world. Meanwhile, he gives another brilliant illustration to this on the freshly squeezed ‘In The Meantime’ along with Willie Bradley.