The philosophical and musical battles between traditional jazz fans and advocates of smooth or "contemporary" jazz may continue to rage, but for younger musicians coming up, by now they probably constitute just a chapter of jazz history to be studied at, say, the New England Conservatory, where trumpeter/flügelhorn player Cindy Bradley matriculated. On Unscripted, Bradley seems to mock the jazz category controversies, combining with producer Mike Broening to create a varied album on which she gives the impression of traveling from club to club, or perhaps from one radio station to another, playing effectively with whomever she encounters. That's the import of the brief interludes between some tracks, after which Bradley turns up performing lively smooth jazz ("Massive Transit") or soul-jazz ("Deja Blue") or making like a session musician providing low-key accompaniment for a movie soundtrack set against strings ("Inevitable"). Actually, all of these are Bradley/Broening originals, though Bradley also takes on Wayne Shorter's "Fingerprints" and the pop standard "You Don't Know What Love Is." The current (if not "contemporary") jazz musician, she seems to be saying, must be ready to take on all assignments, and no matter the context, she solos imaginatively on her instruments throughout.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann