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Bradford Hayes / Press

“Hayes' interpretations of works by some of his saxophone idols shows his enduring respect for their contributions to the continuum of jazz. Wayne Shorter's Black Nile, done in up-tempo straight-ahead fashion, showcases blistering and well-crafted solos by Eubanks, Cochrane and Hayes. The pace moves to a more relaxed groove on Benny Golson's Whisper Not with each of the front line players taking their turns at bat with Cochrane tickling the ivories in formidable fashion.”

Stephen Fratallone - Jazz Connection Magazine

“We receive many self-produced jazz CDs here, and it's a pleasure to find a few of them which rise above the others as genuinely worthwhile, listenable efforts: This is one of them. The entire production speaks care and thoughtfulness in performances, recording, and packaging. This is not Bradford's first CD - that is probably part of the reason. We don't learn much about the saxist except that he worked with African drum virtuoso Olatunji. That provided the stimulus for the first of the five original tunes by Hayes on the disc. His My Sons is a lovely ballad, and Bianca's Dance has a Brazilian feel in its energetic rhythms. The extended treatment of Benny Golson's beautiful tune Whisper Not is one of the best versions of this classic I've heard. There's also a rarely-heard Wayne Shorter tune, Black Nile, and the standard The Nearness of You.”

“Creating the Next Generation of Jazz Musicians Bradford Hayes is known for playing the alto sax, but he is also known, at least to a large and growing group of people in Newark, as a teacher. For the past 26 years, he has been a schoolteacher, and for the past 16 years he has been a music teacher and bandmaster at Luis Munoz Marin Middle School in Newark. He has actually encouraged those studying music in college to major in music education rather than music performance. The children in our schools need responsible adults to teach them about life, and musicians can teach music to children in the same manner, Hayes says. “You may not always get the gig, but you can always teach the youngsters who need you,” he said. About 85 percent of Hayes’ students have gone on to Arts High School in Newark, which has produced jazz greats such as Wayne Shorter, Woody Shaw, and Sarah Vaughan. ”

“Independent jazz musicians on any level have an extremely difficult time getting heard or recognized. As more and more traditional marketing outlets such as jazz radio and retail stores cease to highlight their style of music, the opportunity to be heard diminishes in more ways than one. But every now and again, there comes an artist who has the ability to overcome the obstacles by succeeding in spite of the obvious negative trends. Saxophonist Bradford Hayes is one such individual who has seemingly risen above the fray in more ways than one. His latest CD entitled ‘Bradford Hayes – The Jazz Life’ pushes the envelope of what good quality contemporary styled straight ahead jazz should be about.”

“The Jazz Life, as interpreted by Bradford Hayes, sounds like a joy; a wondrous exploration of Mr. Hayes’ experiences in life, love, family and music. These revelations are communicated in first-rate form through Bradford Hayes’ cool alto saxophone phrases. Mr. Hayes is joined by an exceptional cast of accompanists that provide solid support and spirited solos when called upon to share their musical thoughts. The recording is comprised of eleven tracks, some originals, a couple of jazz standards and a tribute to a master, “Black Nile” by Wayne Shorter. The spirit of the band shines brightly on the track, “Black Nile,” inspirational solos by Bradford Hayes on alto and Duane Eubanks on trumpet. The rhythm section cooks, propelled by the swinging drumming of Greg Searvance.”

Paul J. Youngman - JazzReview.com

“On The Jazz Life, Hayes heads a sextet that also includes trumpeter Duane Eubanks, trombonist Cornell McGhee, pianist Michael Cochrane, bassist Calvin Jones and drummer Greg Searvance. Hayes and his musicians perform seven of his diverse originals, a tune a piece by Cochrane, Searvance, Grachan Moncur III, and Wayne Shorter plus “Whisper Not” and a beautiful melody reading of “The Nearness Of You.” The music always swings, it is never predictable and there is plenty of spirited solo space for the horns and pianist Cochrane. Even the closing “Holistic Invention,” an attempt at playing “smooth jazz,” is creative and lyrical. Fans of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers will certainly enjoy the music overall and yet it is not a copy of the past but a strong example of hard bop for the 21st century.”

Scott Yanow - Los Angeles Jazz Scene

“Alto saxophonist Hayes brings a clean, confident tone and an infectious bounce to this set of snappy hard -bop tunes, turning out a stream of ear-catching solos alongside trumpeter Duane Eubanks. Hayes’ vibrant sextet is at its best on joyous, uptempo numbers like “The Coaster,” an overlooked gem from Grachan Moncur III’s 1960s catalog, but breezy originals like “The Desert” are also sure to please. Only a smooth-jazz track at the end seems out of place in this satisfyingly swinging set.”

Forrest Dylan Bryant - JazzTimes

“Some darn good playing to be found on this collection of songs both sweet and savory. For “The Jazz Life,” saxophonist Bradford Hayes assembled an exceptional ensemble of jazz musicians and recorded 5 of his original tunes, along with 6 others for his second release as band leader. A long time player and educator of some standing in the Newark, NJ area, Hayes spent 15 years with legendary African drummer Babatunde Olatunji – serving as his Musical Director during the last 3 years before the drummer passed away. Hayes has an interesting sound that is distinctly his own. He plays melodically and his tone is full, but a shade lighter than many – something that gives him a refreshing flavor to the ear. ”

“Originally from Petersburg, Va., Bradford Hayes now hails from Newark, New Jersey where he has lived and taught music for the last 24 years. An accomplished musician, Mr. Hayes releases his latest offering, The Jazz Life, essentially a contemporary straight-ahead session of jazz in a gem of an album. Containing five originals and six standards, Hayes crafts a terrific album and proceeds to blow you away with his marvelous performance on the sax. Hayes is joined here by excellent musicians forming one very tight sextet. The players include Duane Eubanks (trumpet), Cornell McGhee (trombone), Michael Cochrane (piano), Calvin Jones (bass) and Greg Searvance (drums). This is one supporting cast that really knows how to swing. ”