Articles & Reviews
DAN BILAWSKY - ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"A jewel always shines brightest when placed in just the right setting, and boy does this album, INVITATION, emphasize that point. When Nicolas Bearde's soulful and affecting baritone sits atop these impeccably tailored arrangements of sterling standards, the results are absolutely stunning..."
Peter Quinn - Jazz Wise - London
"Nicolas Bearde's fifth release sees the San Francisco Bay Area vocalist present his first entirely straight-ahead set, soul-stirring and beautifully delivered. The album settles into a relaxed ballad tempo, with Bearde luxuriating in the rubato sections that frame a glowing reading of Jobim's "Dindi", and a gorgeous, iridescent reading of Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage". Guest alto saxist Vincent Herring lights up a trio of songs with coruscating solos, and Nat Adderley Jr.'s apposite piano accompaniment and sumptuous voicings always hit the aesthetic sweet spot. But it's the palpable rapport between pianist and vocalist which elevates INVITATION to greatness."
Christopher Loudon - Jazz Times
"Where jazz intersects soul, there are few more satisfying stylists than Nicolas Bearde, a richly impressive amalgam of Bill Withers and Billy Eckstine."
George Harris - Jazz Weekly
"Vocalist Nicolas Bearde shows his heart for Johnny Hartman on this attractive collection of sensuously swinging mood tunes."
Andrew Gilbert - San Jose Mercury News
When Nat Adderley Jr. first heard the CDs that vocalist Nicolas Bearde sent him, he asked a question that many a Bay Area music fan has long pondered.
"Why aren't you better known?"
CAROL BANKS WEBER - JAZZ MUSIC EXAMINER
What does Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra charter member sing on his own solo album? On January 29th, 2016, the singer goes strictly straight-ahead on his fifth album, "INVITATION", with the productive value of Cannonball Adderley's nephew, Nat Adderley, Jr - best known for his work with Luther Vandross.
Ron Weinstock - Jazz-Blues Magazine (page 15)
San Francisco based vocalist Nicolas Bearde has hit the musical home run with his new recording “Invitation.” This was produced by Nat Adderley Jr., who plays piano on most of this with a variety of others present, the most famous being saxophonist Vincent Herring who is heard on 3 of the 9 songs
Bill Buckley - Soul and Jazz and Funk / England
'Invitation' is Nicolas' fifth solo offering and the 9 tracker is master class in straight ahead jazz vocals. Most of the songs are drawn from the Great American songbook –with the obvious exception being a rare vocal treatment of Herbie Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage'.
Leslie Katz - SF Examiner
September 11, 2014
Nicolas Bearde stresses jazz in new collaboration
Veteran Oakland soul and jazz vocalist Nicolas Bearde is in a good place in his career.
“At this point in life, I do concerts and select venues and the kind of music that I want to do,” the smooth-voiced singer — he deliciously sounds like the late Lou Rawls — says in a phone interview to promote his Saturday gig in San Francisco.
But Bearde, whose lengthy résumé includes self-releasing four albums, touring the world with Bobby McFerrin as well as acting in movies, on TV and with major Bay Area theater troupes, is most excited about his latest project: a collaboration with Nat Adderley Jr., who was Luther Vandross’ musical director for 20 years.
Unlike his previous recordings, which he made under mounting pressure, Bearde is taking his time with his new, still untitled, album.