Last year local reedist Geof Bradfield visited Africa under the auspices of a State Department program called Rhythm Road. In 2008 Bradfield traveled with Ryan Cohan’s band to Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. “There’s a long history of that back-and-forth exchange in jazz,” explains Bradfield, “for instance, Randy Weston in the early ’60s with Uhuru Afrika and Highlife, and before that Dizzy Gillespie with Chano Pozo.”
His travels in Africa clearly spoke to a deep connection to both the music and the people he encountered there. The resulting compositions recorded on African Flowers released by Origin Records in 2010 reflect on those experiences.
The African Flowers sextet features George Fludas on drums, Ryan Cohan on piano, Clark Sommers on bass, guitarist Jeff Parker, and trumpeter Victor Garcia.