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Rick Braun — Crossroads

Aug. 10, 2019

The renowned and beloved veteran trumpet master Rick Braun is back at it again, releasing another groove-filled full-bodied collection of goodies for c-jazzers to wrap their hearts and ears around – Crossroads. It’s a tight, well-oiled, and well-produced work that we have come to expect from one so polished and adept in the art and its nuances.

Working together with such household luminaries/buddies as Richard Elliot, Philippe Saisse, Peter White, Nate Phillips, Greg Phillinganes, Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Lenny Castro, and a host of others, Braun brings the sunshine and the lure of great quality jazz right up to the shores of our souls and coaxes us into that familiar dance of joy and adoration with this music.

From the funky, high-steppin’ lead track “Around the Corner” to the slick, sauntering “Brazz Street” to the lively, head-bopper title track to the sweet and sultry “The Moment I Saw You” to a cool jazzed-up version of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” to the bossa-flavored “Bahia” to the finale, a magnificently smooth cover of Bruno Mars’ ”Versace On the Floor,” the accomplished trumpeter excites and seduces throughout.

Being quite versatile with countless hits over the years –having even dabbled in straight-ahead covers, with vocals, and having appeared on countless releases by others, Braun has impressed me time and again, and his brand of c-jazz will always have a spot in my heart. The delivery is always silky and seamless, the appeal always so compelling. In a world where so much is askew now, we can always count on this classy artist to deliver that straight, smooth path to stability, serenity, and the groove.

Grab this one, settle back, and let Rick Braun do Rick Braun. You know the guy; so, recognizing and appreciating his brand should be a cinch. – Ronald Jackson