Blue Horizon EPK
An all-original contemporary jazz album by pianist/composer Nicholas Bridgman
Released on January 21, 2022
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All songs composed by Nicholas Bridgman, arranged by Jim O'Sullivan and Nicholas Bridgman, and performed by Nicholas Bridgman (piano), Craig Hall (guitar), Dan Koloski (bass), and Jim O'Sullivan (drums). Mastered by Nicholas Bridgman using Apple Logic Pro X.
Recommended Selections: sophisticated straight-ahead "Morning Showers," gently building ballad "Cascades," smooth jazz tune "Smooth Landing," and high-energy, catchy Latin jazz "Earthworm."
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This project took shape in the summer of 2020, when Nicholas collected 12 of his best compositions from the last five years. He wanted to record them with a band, but it was the middle of COVID, and live performances were hard to come by. So he went on the online jamming site, Jamkazam, where he met Jim, Craig, and Dan in various virtual jam sessions. They each took an interest in the project, and they committed to spending the next year recording from their hometowns around the U.S. Jim provided exceptional work arranging the songs in collaboration with Nicholas, and Craig and Dan brought exciting new angles to each piece with their accompaniment and solos.
The result is this album that showcases the band's versatility in performing many types of jazz, from the energetic smooth jazz songs "Smooth Landing" and "Elevation" to the peaceful ballads "Cascades," "Serpentine," and "Beautiful Memories" to the catchy Latin jazz tune "Earthworm" to the exciting straight-ahead pieces "Morning Showers" and "That Old Fair Is in Town." The album has something for jazz enthusiasts of all kinds: fusion-influenced enough to please smooth jazz aficionados, yet with enough serious soloing, composing, and arranging to satisfy mainstream jazz lovers. Even people who do not ordinarily listen to jazz will find it accessible and entertaining as well.
Pianist Nicholas Bridgman composes and performs contemporary jazz. He is classically trained, having studied with classical pianist Gloria Cheng and composer Miguel del Aguila. He has performed with numerous jazz ensembles in California and released four albums of his original pieces. His writing blends inspiration from jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea with modern influences from smooth jazz, pop, folk, and new age.
Montana guitarist and upright bassist Craig Hall has teamed up with other mountain state musicians on nearly 80 recordings and tours of America, Eastern Europe, Japan and Australia. His projects have included stints with Eden Atwood, Jeni Fleming, Montana Mandolin Society, Springhill, String Jumpers, Craig Hall Trio and many others as well as side manning on guitar or bass for numerous jazz stars crossing the region. The Craig Hall Quartet was featured on the popular television program 11th and Grant. He maintains a busy teaching studio, mentoring young classical/jazz guitarists.
Bassist Dan Koloski is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who lives in Portland, Maine. Dan's musical activities span a range of genres including jazz, soul, roots, musical theater and traditional contradance. Dan previously played with Feral Academy and The Woodshed Mystics, and today can be seen regularly with Maine ensembles including Blue Fuse Jazz, The Violin Movers, Sonja & Good Friends, and Jenny Van West, as well as in area pit orchestras.
Indiana drummer/percussionist Jim O’Sullivan holds an MM in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of North Texas, where he studied with internationally renowned musicians Ed Soph, Paris Rutherford, and Rich DeRosa. Afterwards, he instructed jazz ensembles and applied drum set at universities throughout the Midwest. He has written, arranged, and recorded music professionally, playing throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, as well as with the Dayton Jazz Orchestra, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Indianapolis’s Cool City Band, and various church worship teams and orchestras. His musical interests span a wide range, including Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, Jazz and Rock, Irish Traditional, and Classical styles.
Photo by Kala Stevens
Photo by Michael Blessing
Photo by J&S Florman
Photo by Colin Ford
Praise for Nicholas' earlier album, Wheel of Life:
"Piano and keys on fire throughout the album, Bridgman again emerges as one of the finest pianists/keyboardists/multi-instrumentalists around in our genre." --The Smooth Jazz Ride
"Contemporary music at its finest" --Indiemunity
"as good as it gets." --bebop spoken here
Praise for Nicholas' earlier album, Forest Vision:
"[The album offers] tasteful, subdued easy sounds to coax away the tensions of the day...[Nicholas struts uptempo] material with authority and definition.” --The Smooth Jazz Ride
Email: nbridgman (at) gmail.com