Listening to saxophonist Tom Braxton on his latest release, Endless Highway, one cannot help being filled with a sense of joy as his music swirls through your soul and leaves you spellbound as he cleverly caresses each note of his lyrical melodies. A seasoned performer, who knows how to charm audiences of all ages, Braxton has his own distinctive and recognizable sound which incorporates elements of Jazz, Latin, Funk and R&B. This new disc highlights Braxton as a composer, producer and arranger along with six of his original compositions that feature his effortless transition from soprano, alto and tenor saxophones to showcasing his versatility on piano, keyboards and flute.
Bursting with exhilarating grooves and sizzling hot horn arrangements, Endless Highway on the Pacific Coast Jazz label, manages to lift Braxton to a new level of artistry as he pays homage to his friend and mentor, professional basketball player and bass guitarist, Wayman Tisdale, who recently died battling cancer. Braxton spent over seventeen years blending his sound with the gifted entertainer and the track, “That Wayman Smile,“ is dedicated to his loving spirit. “Wayman’s passing,” according to Tom, “is a reminder of our mortality and has made me determined to live my life to the fullest every day as I realize that tomorrow is not a guarantee for any of us.”Endless Highway is a testament to the many challenges Tom has faced along his highway of life, and he hopes it will help others as they continue down their own road. “We are all on this road of life, moving at our own pace, experiencing the smooth places where you can relax and the rough roads that can challenge and discourage you. But we must never forget how important it is to enjoy the ride!”
And Braxton definitely takes us on a memorable ride on this sensational soundtrack. Joined by an outstanding array of instrumentalists and vocalists, this recording is a toe-tapping, colorful, groove-oriented excursion with a sophisticated urban flavor that will make you feel like dancing and singing all day long. From the first and title track, “Endless Highway,” which signifies the beginning of this rhythmic ride, to the final track, “Home Sweet Home,” that transports us to the end of the CD that chronicles the many experiences we face in life, Braxton creatively completes the full circle of a smooth jazz journey.
Recognized as a proficient and skilled musician and collaborator, Tom has shared the stage with renowned artists including Dave Koz, Rick Braun, George Duke, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Marcus Miller, Luther Vandross and Phillip Bailey. He has opened concerts for numerous jazz luminaries such as Norman Brown, Boney James, Najee, Dave Brubeck, Cab Calloway, Spyro Gyra, The Rippingtons, David Benoit, Pieces of a Dream, Michael Franks and The Crusaders.
Without a doubt, Endless Highway will drive Tom Braxton to the top of the charts while we take a trip with his inspiring tunes at home or on the road. So get ready to pack your bags, roll down the windows and crank up the volume in the “Braxton tradition.” “Creating music that brings people joy is my mission in life,” says Tom. Looks like he has accomplished his mission on Endless Highway.
Source: Pacific Coast Jazz