LATE ARRIVAL is certainly an appropriate title for Chicago guitarist BERNARD ALCORN's first CD release. Although he has been playing professionally for over 20 years, involvement in another career kept him away from a total commitment to music. Having earned a degree in psychology from Roosevelt University in Chicago, he worked as a social worker and vocational rehabilitation counselor for several years before becoming a full time musician.
Bernard plays regularly around the Chicago area. He played monthly for several years at Andy's Jazz Club, one of Chicago's premeir jazz clubs known throughout the world. Bernard also played at DePaul University's Chicago Music Mart, a popular concert/performance venue. He played for 1 year in a cafe on Chicago's popular Rush St. He plays at several private/civic events each year. Bernard has recently toured the Midwest, playing in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Jazz ("both straight-ahead" and "smooth-jazz) is the label often used to describe Bernard's music. However, like many versatile artists, his music mixes other styles. "I've also been influenced by funk/R&B (e.g. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Earth Wind and Fire) Brazillian Music, Raggae, Latin, Afro-pop and Blues."
Bernard's Cd LATE ARRIVAL, has been featured several times on Rod Lucas' very popular Best Smooth Jazz show from London and has also been featured on Wes George's popular JazzNet247 show (Europe). "High Steppin' received airplay as a featured tune of the month on the Swiss program "Swiss Grooves". Late Arrival has received radio airplay on 2 Chicago stations (WBEE 1570; V-103) and on stations in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, Washington, DC, Portland (OR), San Francisco and Grand Rapids (MI). 7 out of the 11 tunes are originals. Sunset In the Wes is Bernard's tribute to Wes Montgomery and has a latin/funk feel. Mr. G's tune is a reggae-jazz original: Sambrio is a Brazilian samba-style original. Moondance (Van Morrison) and Slow Hot Wind (Henry Mancini)receive jazzy performances; and the remaining tunes are "smooth jazz"/ R&B tunes.
Bernard's style has been compared favorably with the styles of Wes Montgomery and George Benson, two of his early influences include: Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, "Cannonball" Adderly, and Horace Silver. Smooth Jazz and non-jazz influences include: Lee Ritenour, larry Carltion, Stevie Wonder, earth Wind & Fire and Hugh Masekela.
Bernard's music background includes developing his skills at jazz jam sessions and playing in organ trios and in quartets that he led or co-led. However, being an early advocate of MIDI technology, he learned to program music sequencers to get full background accompianiment for his original arrangements of standards/cover tunes and his own tunes. For over 12 years, Bernard has received favorable and positive audience response to his solo performances utilizing the MIDI technology.