Jeff Bradshaw: To The Bone

The trombone isn’t an instrument that most people think about as a lead instrument, but then again Jeff Bradshaw isn’t like most people. The type of cat who likes to swim against the current, Bradshaw is here, defiantly, to make us all love the trombone. Raised in Philly Bradshaw has been involved in the soul revolution from the very beginning. He worked on Erykah Badu’s first album, and now wants inject a new sound in the mix and place his own stamp on Contemporary Jazz and Neo-Soul.

His debut album, Bone Deep, is a pleasing collection or soul sounds, from funk to soul, with the common vein of it all being the sophisticated sound of his trombone. With the help of a few friends, Jeff plans on making the trombone a notable lead instrument, as well as making his name a household classic. Alternatives: How long have you been playing the Trombone?

Jeff Bradshaw: All my life, it’s one of 28 instruments that I play.

AHHA: 28 instruments bro?

Jeff Bradshaw: Yeah, the Trombone is just my instrument of choice.

AHHA: And you were never formally trained in any of those instruments, how did you learn them?

Jeff Bradshaw: In the church and my father plays like ten instruments so it’s kinda in the family.

AHHA: Like any artist, you’ve paid your dues, how long have you been on the fringes of the industry?

Jeff Bradshaw: About ten years ago I started playing in the soul/hip hop clubs with live bands. Went from there to meeting all the producers of the new neo-soul movement, the guys who produced Gerald and Floetry and Bilal and Musiq Soul Child and Glen Lewis, the six producers that started in Jazzy Jeff’s camp and started the new neo-soul renaissance.

AHHA: How long ago was that?

Jeff Bradshaw: Man, that was about eight years. I started with those guys recording in the studio professionally, the first studio recording I did was “Other Side of the Game,” for Erykah Badu…and the rest is history, I recorded with everybody from Musiq to Floetry to Jill to Glen Lewis to Bilal to Michael Jackson to Earth Wind & Fire.

AHHA: The Trombone is not an instrument that most people think about as a lead instrument, what called you to the Trombone?

Jeff Bradshaw: In School, in music class, the teacher would spread all the instruments all over the room and she told all the students to stand by whatever instrument they were interested in playing. And everybody stood by drums, piano, bass, trumpet, ya know essentially all the other instruments and the trombones would be way in the corner by themselves. I’ve always been a trendsetter, not a trend follower - so I thought that would be the instrument that I would make cool, that I would make sexy.

AHHA: You played a part in Jill Scott’s 2001 tour, did you just play the trombone, or did you have any other duties?

Jeff Bradshaw: Yeah I played trombone and I helped arrange the live show.

AHHA: That had to be a pretty dope experience?

Jeff Bradshaw: Ah man, touring with my homegirl, she’s the best as far as I’m concerned because she’s the total package…as a person who was new in the game and was never expected to be as big as she was, but she handled it gracefully.

AHHA: Tell those who haven’t heard the album what they can expect?

Jeff Bradshaw: A movement of music, from everything to R&B to Neo-Soul to Funk to Alternative Rock…I mean I’m a contemporary jazz artist, but this album has so much more that’s why we called it Bone Deep, cause I’m a trombone player, but it’s deeper than the bone. It’s got so much, it’s like a complete meal, it fills you.

AHHA: What kind of production is on the album?

Jeff Bradshaw: I got together with some of my friends that are in Philly, Omar Edwards who was the music director for Jaguar Wright and is currently on tour with Jay-Z, Julius Irvine who basically produced half of Vivian Greens album, James Poyser who did Erykah’s last two albums…I just got together with some of my production family. I co-wrote and co-produced the entire album, it was my vision, but I needed the structure, being that it was my first time putting a record together.

AHHA: You said that you feel that Bone Deep is ‘gonna be the biggest Jazz record in the last fifteen years’. Why?

Jeff Bradshaw: It offers more variety than any album that I’ve bought or followed…there just hasn’t been another album that’s offered this much high velocity of power and selection. And it’s the first time for the bone in contemporary jazz and it’s a whole new voice and breath of fresh air for contemporary jazz.

AHHA: Any last words?

Jeff Bradshaw: Thanx for the love, big shout out to, I appreciate the love and appreciate your interest in my music, hopefully a year from now we’ll be talking again about all the Grammy’s I’m nominated for, the million records I sold and the love you cats showed me early on.

For more on Jeff check out