In the title track Mr. Bradette identifies himself as an artist solidly in the post-Brecker tradition; we get the flawless chops, pretty sound, and dramatically swelling compositions that we expect. The supporting cast of musicians glimmer in all the right places, with the spotlight falling more often on pianist Alex Clements than anywhere else. Where the album disappoints is in its failure to provide the unexpected. Despite the inclusion of bass clarinet and alto flute among other eclectic choices in the instrumentation, the complete large ensemble appears on only a handful of tracks, and even then only in a background role. The album sticks instead to the usual saxophone and piano pattern with only a few exceptions.
Perhaps a benefit of sticking to a middle-of-the-road approach is the evenness that marks State of Mind. Mr. Bradette's approach on both tenor and soprano is consistent while his compositions manage to display myriad influences from third stream, to post-bop without making jarring transitions. The album displays a synthesis of a variety of modern jazz influences which result in an album that manages to be well-polished, pretty, and unobjectionable to both casual listeners and jazz connoisseurs, without the spectacular failures or successes that result from taking big risks.