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The Legendary Jazz Prodigy Who Played on Crazy Town’s First Album

todayJune 25, 2024 2

The Legendary Jazz Prodigy Who Played on Crazy Town’s First Album
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Did you know a certified jazz legend played drums on Crazy Town’s debut album The Gift of Game? 

Crazy Town had, for lack of a better word, a pretty crazy lineup as a band. Former members include the late Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein, who after leaving the band went on to have an illustrious career in dance music, including the Travis Barker collaboration TRV$DJAM. Their first DJ, Adam Bravin would go onto form popular darkwave duo She Wants Revenge and become personal DJ for former president Barack Obama.

But maybe the most insane former member to grace the band’s roster was drummer James “JBJ” Bradley Jr., a legendary jazz prodigy. Bradley was seemingly born to play drums, at age nine he appeared on the Jack Benny Program, performing alongside the legendary Nat King Cole. Even as a kid, Bradley’s sense of rhythm and speed was far advanced most adults who could get behind a kit.

As Bradley grew older, he continued playing alongside a host of legendary jazz musicians. In the late ’70s, he drummed for Chuck Mangione, playing on some of his biggest records including Feels So Good and the soundtrack for Children of Sanchez. 

James Bradley Jr, Drum Solo

Before Crazy Town, he drummed for arguably the original rap-rock group, Beastie Boys on their third studio album Check Your Head. In the late ’90s, Bradley joined Crazy Town, having already had a significant career while Shifty Shellshock and crew were in their early 20s. He’d go onto play on their debut album The Gift of Game before departing in 2001, just two years after joining.

READ MORE: Crazy Town’s Five Sickest Deep Cuts

In early footage of the band, Bradley’s talent is pretty undeniable, adding a lot of flourishes that helped elevate their live footage. The band knew how legendary he was, in one interview co-vocalist Bret “Epic” Mazur remarks “I knew he was always going out of town with Chuck [Mangione]. Me myself being a drummer, knowing he was playing with Chuck, means you’re pretty damned good.”

Back in 2019, Bradley reunited with Crazy Town, chopping it up with Shifty in a video and joining the band onstage to play “Butterfly.” It’s a pretty awesome sight to see, check out the video below for yourself.

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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