Bernard Wright (born November 16, 1963) is an American funk and jazz keyboardist and singer who began his career as a session musician and later released four solo albums. His mother is Roberta Flack.
Wright was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York. He attended the High School of Performing Arts in New York Classmates included writer Carl Hancock Rux, gospel recording artist Desiree Coleman Jackson, and rappers Slick Rick and Dana Dane. He was offered a slot touring with Lenny White when he was 13, and he played with Tom Browne at the age of 16.
‘Nard is the debut album from American funk keyboardist Bernard Wright. Released in 1981 when Wright was only 18 years old, the album reached number 7 on the Jazz Albums chart in the US.
Like Tom Browne and Lenny White/Twennynine, Bernard Wright was part of Jamaica, Queens’ R&B/funk scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, which gave us such major hits as Twennynine’s “Peanut Butter” and Browne’s “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” Browne and White were both talented jazz musicians, but R&B/funk was their main focus at that time. Similarly, keyboardist/pianist Wright occasionally flirts with instrumental jazz on his debut album, ‘Nard, but pays a lot more attention to vocal-oriented soul and funk. The only instrumentals on this out-of-print LP are the jazz-funk smoker “Firebolt Hustle,” the Rodney Franklin-ish “Bread Sandwiches,” and a relaxed interpretation of Miles Davis‘ “Solar,” which finds Wright forming an acoustic piano trio with bassist Buster Williams and drummer Roy Haynes. Otherwise, this is an R&B album that is defined by such impressive funk as “Spinnin’,” “Master Rocker,” and the goofy but wildly infectious “Haboglabotribin’.” Recorded when the keyboardist/pianist was only 16, ‘Nard was expected to be a big hit, but surprisingly, didn’t fare as well as albums by Browne and White.
GRP Records signed him in 1981 and released his debut album ‘Nard, tracks from which were prominently sampled in hits by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Skee-Lo, and LL Cool J.
1. “Haboglabotribin'” (Don Blackman) – 4:22
2. “Firebolt Hustle” (Harold Grate, Henry Grate) – 4:11
3. “Music is the Key” (Weldon Irvine, Tommy Smith) – 4:20
4. “Spinnin'” (Al Flythe) – 5:33
5. “Just Chillin’ Out” (Al Flythe, Barry Johnson, Marcus Miller, Bernard Wright) – 4:35
6. “Bread Sandwiches” (Denzel Miller, Steve Teele, Bernard Wright) – 3:52
7. “Master Rocker” (Weldon Irvine, Ronnie Miller, Bernard Wright) – 4:56
8. “We’re Just the Band” (Henry Grate) – 3:03
9. “Solar” (Miles Davis) – 7:20
- Bernard Wright – Keyboards, Lead Vocals
- Barry “Sonjon” Johnson, Marcus Miller – Bass
- Buddy Williams, Charley Drayton, Dennis Chambers, Howard Grate, Al “Wink” Flythe – Drums
- Bobby Broom, Kevin Oliver, Ronald Miller – Electric Guitar
- Don Blackman – Piano
- Errol “Crusher” Bennett – Percussion
- Jimmy Owens – Horns
- Desirè White, Luther Vandross, Patti Austin, Sheri Snyder – Backing Vocals
- Producer – Dave Grusin & Larry Rosen
Recorded: 1981 at A&R Studios, New York City, New York
Genre: Soul Funk Jazz
Label – GRP Records