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The best kept secret in music


"CD Review-"The guys of Unison have a pure and original approach...""

Artist: Unison

CD: All Things Considered

Home: Miami, Florida

Style: R&B/Latin Rhythm Trio

Quote: "The guys of Unison have a pure and original approach, as evidenced by the fact that Gordon has already won Second Place in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition."

By Jennifer Layton

It just happens every now and then. I get a CD by an artist or group with such potential, I start managing their careers right here from my computer in North Carolina. My brain went into overdrive when I listened to Unison.

Unison is a Latin-flavored R&B trio consisting of Adrian Gordon, Leo Bradley, and Miguel Ruiz. Remember those names. If they manage to survive the battering of Hurricanes Frances and Ivan, you'll be reading about them in bigger media outlets than this one. (As for the meteorogical pounding you boys are taking, maybe you shouldn't have signed onto the 'Cane Records Label. Ever hear of a jinx?)

This is not just another boy band. Yes, they sound like their influences Boys II Men and Brian McKnight, but they've got two things going for them that keep them from sounding like clones. First, that Latin vibe adds a sensual flavor that turns almost every track into a soundtrack for sex. Second, these guys are actual musicians. That's why I crossed P. Diddy off my list of potential studio collaborators. Too sample-happy. The guys of Unison have a pure and original approach, as evidenced by the fact that Gordon has already won Second Place in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. I've met many indie artists over the past several years, but I know very few who have taken honors in that highly competitive contest. I'm taking out a restraining order to keep Mr. Diddy far away from these boys.

So who should take the production helm of Unison's next CD? I know Unison would probably protest, pointing out that they did a lot of the studio work on this CD. Yes boys, and you did a great job (impressive guitar chops and crystal-clear recording are evidence of that). But all these songs have the same feel. You sound like you're holding back. You need more of a kick. I can hear the power and energy in your voices just begging to break free. The socially-conscious rap in "Beautiful Heart" is a step in the right direction. So who could help show you guys exactly what you're capable of doing?

I'd love to see Bobby Brown put the drugs away and give this project a shot. However, I'm guessing that by the time this gets published, he'll be facing another string of court appearances, so that idea's shelved for now. Babyface? Maybe. Jon B? Better. How about Usher? I checked his album credits. He has production experience. And to my surprise, Li'l Jon worked with Usher. I like Li'l Jon, and his insane and surprisingly intelligent approach might be just want Unison needs. As long as Usher's there to pull him down off the ceiling. The last thing I want to see is a Unison video with the guys buried in bling bling, screeching about how a brotha got needs but they ain't trippin' on ya pimpin'. Talk about restraining orders. Li'l Jon would be lucky to be allowed in the same zip code as Unison when I was finished with him.

But I digress. My point is that Unison has made a promising CD, and they've proven that no one else is pulling their strings. Next go 'round, let's hear some power. Put away the R&B records and write lyrics the way you would say them. Kick a little funk into that Latin rhythm here and there, just to change the pace. You've got the skills. You've earned the musical credibility. Now it's time to experiment.

In the meantime, anyone out there know Usher's phone number?

http://www.unisonfan.com - Indie-Music.com

"Three young men find their success singing in UNISON"

At first, they seem like ordinary guys. Miguel Ruiz, Adrian Gordon and Leo Bradley are pals. They attend college, and Ruiz and Bradley spend their afternoons as counselors at Coral Reef Park. Yet, when they get together to sing, Miguel, Adrian and Leo transform into superstars through the enchanting melodies they create. Now they will share their musical talent with the world with their breakthrough CD, titled UNISON live.

The glorious compositions on the album capture the best of rhythm and blues. With three tracks on the CD, including The Jam, featuring guitarist Steve Wildey, Dance Floor Lover and Stay, the sound of sweet harmony appears on every track.

“We want people to know that we’re musical and we try to incorporate a musical aspect as well as a community aspect,” said Gordon, 19. “What people mainly know us for is our harmonies.”

UNISON formed five years ago, when Ruiz and Bradley were in search of a third band member. That is when Gordon came onboard. Now, everyone in the threesome sings lead for UNISON and Gordon is the group’s guitarist. The common bond dates back to their middle school years.

“We all went to the same middle school, Southwood, which is a magnet school for the performing arts,” Gordon said. “It wasn’t until we got to high school that we connected as a group.”

Ruiz said the trio creates music compositions together, writing their own tunes. With the influence of Brian McKnight, the Dave Matthews Band and Boys II Men, Bradley, Gordon and Ruiz say they maintain their own unique style.

“We pretty much invented our own genre, with acoustic guitar and our vocals,” said Ruiz, 21. “It’s acoustic rhythm and blues. Our target is to be ‘us,’ and the best that we can be.”

UNISON is available for hire at “get-togethers” and events such as weddings, dinner and birthday parties. The Web site <www.unisonfan.com> provides updated information regarding UNISON. Meanwhile, the CD is available only at performances. “CD’s are available at our shows, but not yet on-line,” Gordon said. “People can use our Web site to see where we’re performing next.”

The trio will sing the national anthem on ESPN television on Feb. 28 before a widely televised boxing event. UNISON’s melodies are bound to delight many viewers.

“It’s all of life’s experiences,” Bradley said. “It comes from the heart.”

Recently, UNISON members performed their song, Patient Lover. The rich sounds of harmony seeped deep into the soul. With words like “Baby just give it a try, let my love open your eyes,” musical tunes flowed straight from the heart. Gordon wrote the particular selection, and Bradley and Ruiz arranged the music. Gordon, who has already made his mark in the music world, has won second place in the national John Lennon Songwriting Competition.

Looking towards the future, Bradley said they will continue to work hard, performing at least twice while rehearsing three times every week. “We never stop,” said Bradley, 20.

Yet, Palmetto Bay residents Bradley, Gordon and Ruiz are looking forward to completing their college education and working part time while creating exquisite lyrics. “I am studying music business as a fulltime student at the University of Miami,” Gordon said. “At Miami-Dade Community College, I am studying psychology,” Bradley said.

“I am studying mathematics education and music business at Miami-Dade Community College,” Ruiz added. “Leo and I should be finishing Miami-Dade this semester.” Bradley said they are enjoying this moment in music. Yet, there is so much more looming on the horizon. If the CD is any indication of where they are headed, it will certainly be music to everyone’s ears.

“We want to be artists,” Bradley said. “We want to do it all and accomplish as much as we can. We want to be good influences and great role models.”
- Community Newspapers Online


*2004-All Things Considered
Cane Records: www.canerecords.com

*2001-Unison Live


Feeling a bit camera shy


UNISON is an acoustic R&B all male singing group from Miami, Florida. The Pinecrest Tribune said “these three charismatic young men sing and play with a unique acoustic R&B groove unlike that of any other artist.” They spent this past summer and fall recording their first CD All Things Considered and will release their debut EP in February of 2004.

UNISON is composed of three Miami native, talented young men named Adrian Gordon, Leo Bradley, and Miguel Ruiz. These three bright college students from Miami Dade Community College, Florida International University and the University of Miami first came together as childhood best friends, and as their musical talents developed, they formally created the trio UNISON in 1998. UNISON writes and arranges their own music and accompanies themselves on instruments such as guitar and piano.

The members of UNISON will be promoting All Things Considered with a three month tour of college campuses and malls. Their debut release is filled with soothing R&B tunes. “Sometimes” and “Dance Floor Lover”, two live show crowd pleasers will be featured on their EP along with 3 other songs portraying their unique style; ‘A charismatic blend of acoustic R&B with a touch of soul.’

UNISON’s debut CD All Things Considered will fulfill the promise of their live shows. The Kendall Gazette said “…when they get together to sing, the trio transforms into superstars through enchanting melodies they create. The result is musical wonderland.”