Contemporary jazz keyboard player Alex Bugnon, nephew of trumpeter Donald Byrd, grew up going to the Montreux Jazz Festival in his hometown in Switzerland.
He attended the Paris Conservatory of Music for two years, then moved to the U.S. and went to the Berklee School of Music, meanwhile performing as an accompanist to gospel groups. He spent four years working as a session musician in New York, backing urban and jazz performers such as Patti Austin, Freddie Jackson, James Ingram, and Keith Sweat. Signed to Orpheus Records, he released his debut album, Love Season, in 1989. It reached the pop charts and the Top 40 of the R&B charts, as did its follow-up, 1990's Head Over Heels. Subsequent releases -- 107 Degrees in the Shade (1991), This Time Around (1993), and Tales From the Bright Side (1995), the last on RCA Records -- all placed in the R&B charts. After five years away from recording under his own name, Bugnon signed to the jazz division of Narada Records, which marketed him as a jazz artist, and his sixth album, Alex Bugnon...As Promised, reached the contemporary jazz charts. He followed in 2001 with Soul Purpose. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi