@ Pigeon Island, St. Lucia Jazz Festival
12 May 2008
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Growing up in Montreux, Switzerland - the home
of the Montreux Jazz Festival - Alex Bugnon started playing classical
piano at age six. Guided by his father, a jazz guitarist and classical
opera singer, Bugnon acquired a love for a wide range of music from
Scott Joplin, Thelonious Monk, and Bill Evans to Herbie Hancock,
McCoy Tyner, and Joe Sample. Once a year for an entire month, Montreux
becomes the crossroads of the musical world, and Bugnon went to
his first concert at age seven to see none other than Aretha Franklin!
He studied at the Paris Conservatory and the famous
Mozart Academy in Salzburg, Austria. At age nineteen, he moved to
the U.S. and attended the Berklee School of Music. While a student
at Berklee, he performed with local bands at clubs in and around
the Boston area. During that period, he also performed in church
with many gospel groups. In 1985 he moved to New York where he spent
four years working as a session musician and touring with urban
and jazz luminaries such as Patti Austin, Freddie Jackson, James
Ingram, Earth Wind and Fire, and Keith Sweat.
Bugnon began his recording career in 1989 with
his debut album, “Love Season” which reached the pop
charts and the Top 40 of the R&B charts as did his 1990 recording,
“Head Over Heals”. He intrigued his fans again in 1991
with “107 Degrees In The Shade”, “This Time Around”
(1993), and “Tales From The Bright Side” (1995). Five
years later, Bugnon signed with Narada Jazz and recorded his sixth
album, “As Promised”, followed in 2001 with “Soul
Purpose”, which remained on Billboard's Contemporary Jazz
chart for 23 weeks. In 2003, Alex recorded for the first time in
Atlanta with some of that city's greatest musicians and titled his
album “Southern Living”.
Though Alex Bugnon has accomplished much in his
career, he continues to develop and grow. He explains;
“After exploring all of the sophisticated
and progressive funk that helped me find my sound, I knew I needed
to get back to a sound that was more laid back and straight to the
point, where the songs, rather than fancy production, are the focus.
With the success of artists like Norah Jones and Alicia Keys, it’s
clear to me that, like myself, people are tired of the overproduced,
heavy machine-oriented music that excited them in the past. These
are complicated times we live in, and it’s inspiring to see
a trend towards making life simpler and focusing on the more important
Alex Bugnon has created one of the most recognised
styles in today's contemporary jazz piano. It is a sultry mixture
of contemporary jazz, funk, and R&B with hints of gospel. Even
the titles of his CD’s create anticipation for a musical experience
that is delivered with passion.