Brian Ward | Wonderbread

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United States - Oregon

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Latin: Cuban Moods: Instrumental
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Wonderbread

by Brian Ward

Jazz, funk, R&B, soul and afro-cuban flavors all slathered in a gospel gravy
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Brothers I
3:03 $0.99
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2. What Can I Do?
6:54 $0.99
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3. She Ain't
6:03 $0.99
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4. Baby Girl
6:24 $0.99
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5. Move On
6:49 $0.99
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6. If Only You Knew
5:52 $0.99
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7. Ngiculela
5:43 $0.99
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8. Pound Cake
5:55 $0.99
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9. Stellar Optics
6:46 $0.99
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10. Wonderbread
4:26 $0.99
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11. Morning Walk
5:56 $0.99
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12. Brothers II
0:45 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Every tune on "Wonderbread" comes from a different direction. The recipe calls for jazz, funk, R&B, soul and Afro-Cuban flavors all slathered in a gospel gravy.”

Sifting through stacks of recordings to discover fresh, creative, and stimulating music can be an exhausting experience to say the least. With that said, I’m pleased to introduce you to Portland, Oregon native and keyboardist Brian Ward. His unique recipe for blending various textures of music together is well worth sampling and digesting each infectious note on his debut as a leader titled “Wonderbread.”

The opener “Brothers I,” speaks transparently through the lens of percussive beats filled with a colorful array of African rhythms! Brian’s instinctive prowess as a keyboardist and arranger draws you without delay into the fabric of this intoxicating groove.

“What Can I Do?” … Borrows a little sumthin’, sumthin’ from the school of Richard Tee, and please keep in mind Ward does this without mimicking Mr. Tee’s sound. Yes, brother Brian represents by delivering a delectable Gospel inspired down home tune with a touch of jazz.
Brian admits to striving to discover various cultures musically, the next piece “She Ain’t” as he sees it is the only track that’s true in tradition jazz on his debut. This track also features Reinhardt Melaz with a marveling drum solo.

Once you hear the next selection “Baby Girl,” you’ll immediately discover the influence of another great composer and master keyboardist George Duke. Oh yeah, the Duke vibe is definitely written into the script of this jewel features a very talented bassist named Willy Barber.

“Move On,” drops in a the five spot with the cool sensation of an classic R&B groove covered by it’s foundation Gospel. Ward’s fearless approach to the composition on the Hammond B3 and Rhodes are on point.

Brian takes on the first of two covers with his treatment of Patti LaBelle’s “If Only You Knew,” features vocalist Priscilla DeVold. I’ll give Ms. DeVold lots of love for daring to tackle this classic by LaBelle. Ironically, Brian decides to cover a unique piece by Stevie Wonder titled “Ngiculela.” Yeah, I dig this one! It's laced with a luscious Bossa Nova flavor.

At the eighth spot Ward and company switches gears with a phat and sassy fusion groove suitably titled “Pound Cake.” The ensemble delivers the goods by digging deep into the legacy of its preprocessors in jazz-fusion to nail this jewel.

Fender Rhodes lovers will simply adore this project by Ward, the next cut “Stellar Optics” taps into the core of fusion. Nothing superficial here, this further exemplifies why music of this caliber is in high demand these days.

On the next selection Ward’s focus turns to the Latin inspired title track “Wonderbread,” its layered with a near perfect dose of Mambo therefore making it one of the most vibrant tracks on the recording.

“Morning Walk,” was originally written as an interlude for Church. And yes, it does feel like a warm and easygoing Sunday morning spiritual vibe. In fact, this composition showcases Brian’s melodic voice on piano.

On a personal note, this is undisputedly pure contemporaryjazz. This solid playing and livid skill set by Brian Ward and his ensemble is without a doubt memorable. I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet the music of Brian Ward. From the first spin on “Wonderbread,” it’s evident without reading liner notes you get the idea this guy is all about music, which is rare these days. Brian Ward’s music is real, straight from the heart and soul of a man who loves playing music.

Rob Young- contemporaryjazz.com

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Reviews


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Lynn Darroch- Oregonian

Jazz with heart and soul
Brian Ward has paid his dues.

In order to develop the gospel-steeped soul jazz that makes up the bulk of the material on this debut CD, he's put in time with the sources. A Portland-based keyboardist and composer, Ward has toured with bluesman Curtis Salgado, absorbed the Latin feel with conguero Bobby Torres, dug into African roots with Ghanaian drummer Obo Addy, and currently serves as assistant minister of music at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church. Along the way, Ward amassed straight-ahead jazz experience as well.

He's elected to place those complex jazz harmonies and post-bop improvisations in service of the groove on this Latin-tinged, soulful collection of funk, soul and jazz fusion, however. The result is accessible and intelligent pop jazz rooted in the R&B tradition.
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Several passages even evoke specific soul tunes from the 1960s and '70s, including an introduction to "Move On" that recalls the Jackson 5's "Can You Feel It."

But Ward's compositions take the familiar to interesting and unusual places.

The gospel-flavored "What Can I Do?" for instance, stays on an even keel, refraining from the soaring, bluesy climaxes typical of a Hank Crawford/Jimmy McGriff outing. Instead, he adds an animated section built on a funk rhythm, where churchy keyboard figures become jazz licks that reach a different sort of peak before modulating back into the original melody.

Jazz chops leap out all over this disc, but too often Ward shifts back into more pedestrian patterns, as on "Morning Walk" or "Ngiculela" -- contrasts to the title tune, "Wonderbread," which is fortified with the energy and sharp syncopation guaranteed to build strong music 12 ways.

The CD is packaged with a DVD -- a practice increasingly common even among independents.
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Rob Young


Sifting through stacks of recordings to discover fresh, creative, and stimulating music can be an exhausting experience to say the least. With that said, I’m pleased to introduce you to Portland, Oregon native and keyboardist Brian Ward. His unique recipe for blending various textures of music together is well worth sampling and digesting each infectious note on his debut as a leader titled “Wonderbread.”
The opener “Brothers I,” speaks transparently through the lens of percussive beats filled with a colorful array of African rhythms! Brian’s instinctive prowess as a keyboardist and arranger draws you without delay into the fabric of this intoxicating groove.

“What Can I Do?” … Borrows a little sumthin’, sumthin’ from the school of Richard Tee, and please keep in mind Ward does this without mimicking Mr. Tee’s sound. Yes, brother Brian represents by delivering a delectable Gospel inspired down home tune with a touch of jazz.
Brian admits to striving to discover various cultures musically, the next piece “She Ain’t” as he sees it is the only track that’s true in tradition jazz on his debut. This track also features Reinhardt Melaz with a marveling drum solo.

Once you hear the next selection “Baby Girl,” you’ll immediately discover the influence of another great composer and master keyboardist George Duke. Oh yeah, the Duke vibe is definitely written into the script of this jewel features a very talented bassist named Willy Barber.

“Move On,” drops in a the five spot with the cool sensation of an classic R&B groove covered by it’s foundation Gospel. Ward’s fearless approach to the composition on the Hammond B3 and Rhodes are on point.

Brian takes on the first of two covers with his treatment of Patti LaBelle’s “If Only You Knew,” features vocalist Priscilla DeVold. I’ll give Ms. DeVold lots of love for daring to tackle this classic by LaBelle. Ironically, Brian decides to cover a unique piece by Stevie Wonder titled “Ngiculela.” Yeah, I dig this one! It's laced with a luscious Bossa Nova flavor.

At the eighth spot Ward and company switches gears with a phat and sassy fusion groove suitably titled “Pound Cake.” The ensemble delivers the goods by digging deep into the legacy of its preprocessors in jazz-fusion to nail this jewel.

Fender Rhodes lovers will simply adore this project by Ward, the next cut “Stellar Optics” taps into the core of fusion. Nothing superficial here, this further exemplifies why music of this caliber is in high demand these days.

On the next selection Ward’s focus turns to the Latin inspired title track “Wonderbread,” its layered with a near perfect dose of Mambo therefore making it one of the most vibrant tracks on the recording.

“Morning Walk,” was originally written as an interlude for Church. And yes, it does feel like a warm and easygoing Sunday morning spiritual vibe. In fact, this composition showcases Brian’s melodic voice on piano.

On a personal note, this is undisputedly pure contemporaryjazz. This solid playing and livid skill set by Brian Ward and his ensemble is without a doubt memorable. I’m thankful for the opportunity to meet the music of Brian Ward. From the first spin on “Wonderbread,” it’s evident without reading liner notes you get the idea this guy is all about music, which is rare these days. Brian Ward’s music is real, straight from the heart and soul of a man who loves playing music.
Read more...

Sean Higgins

Cool grooves with a modern flavor
This CD has some great tunes on it and the players play very well together. Brian writes songs that cover a bunch of different genres but the CD has a unified vibe. It's fresh and he uses a lot of contemporary harmonies with electric instruments. You can tell he digs pop music but has checked out some jazz, brazilian, and r&b. This CD is definitely worth checking out.
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