Meet the Trio: Brad Whiteley, Keyboards
Brad Whiteley and I have been playing together since we met in lab band at Indiana University in 2001. He played in my funk octet, The Eddie Goza Seven, and was a part of my first CD, recorded in Indiana in 2004. He moved up to New York about a year after me, and has been back in the band ever since!
Before Brad moved to NYC, I was working on new music with a drummer and a revolving cast of bass players. Once Brad got to the city, we decided to make the group an organ trio, leaving the bass lines to Brad's left hand. He's been handling the bass parts ever since! As you can see on the cover of the binder full of his music, the change is almost permanent:
As soon as he joined the group, Brad has been an indispensable part of the trio. I occasionally write music starting with the drum beat and bass line, and then write the melody to juxtapose the groove. Brad's part is literally split down the middle--half hooks up with Kenneth on drums, the other half has to match the feel of the guitar melody--but I have yet to write something he can't play. If Brad isn't available for a gig, I honestly don't know who I could call to fill the slot!
Along with the monster chops, Brad is a funny dude. The other day I was playing a gig with a couple guys that had just spent some time on the road with him, and one of them said to me, "...and then I realized nothing Brad says is serious." That's mostly accurate. He goofs off all the time, but unlike the class clown in high school band class, he always nails his part. In a business where a lot of people take themselves too seriously (including myself), Brad is always having fun while never sacrificing the music.
I've learned a lot working with Brad, mainly that there is always more to learn, always another level to strive for, and that you should get something out of everything you play. If that isn't evident in his playing, then you're not listening close enough.