Feelin' the vibe: An interview with Eddie Bullen

27 Nov 2005

Think back to the Club Med commercial. White sandy beaches, blue Caribbean skies, vocalist in the background singing Hands Up, baby hands up! Meet the man behind the song. Cool, articulate, smooth jazz artist, Eddie Bullen. He garnered Gold for that song by the way. We’re sitting in what used to be his old studio, Thunder Dome Sounds which has relocated to Markham, chatting about smooth jazz. “It’s kind of like R&B with a lead instrument,” says Bullen. “Many of the R&B singers are now considered smooth jazz artists, such as Patti Labelle.”

His career started back in 1971 and has yielded three albums to date. His cd’s feature a blending of jazz with world music, hip hop, R&B and Latin vibes.

“I love to have many layers running parallel, that’s one of my signatures. I have two or three melodies happening at the same time,” says Bullen. “I also like using vocalists as instruments doing scatting. Scatting started in jazz a long time ago with Ella Fitzgerald, and came back with Bobby McFerrin and Al Jarreau. People scat now with words, but I like it without words.”

A talented musician, producer and arranger, Eddie has collaborated with many successful artists including Deborah Cox, Glenn Lewis, Fefe Dobson, Oleta Adams and Liberty Silver. He also composes and arranges for City TV, YTV, CBC, and TMN the Movie Network.

With a father as a musician, Eddie was musically inclined at a young age. “When I was fourteen I saw Kingsley Etienne on a B3 Hammond organ. It was cool. That’s when I got the jazz bug. I knew I had to play like that!” laughs Bullen.

His latest cd, Desert Rain, is especially meaningful to him. His 12 year old son Quincy plays keyboards on the last track, following in his father’s footsteps.

Eddie sums up his rewarding career in these words, “hearing the applause of people who appreciate my work is the best feeling. I love making people happy through music.”

Catch Eddie at the Uptown Jazz Festival at Mel Lastman Square on Sunday.


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