Archive for July 26th, 2019

Rick Braun – Crossroads

“As musicians and people in general, we are all a collection of the places we’ve been, things we’ve heard, seen and done, and people who we’ve loved and who have loved us,” shares chart-topping contemporary jazz pioneer Rick Braun. The trumpeter will release Crossroads on Shanachie Entertainment on August 16, 2019. The 10-track recording is a thrilling musical expedition giving us an intimate glimpse into Rick Braun’s inspirations. “At this point in life,” states Braun, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to make music. I think I’m just very comfortable with where I am in life right now.” Somewhat of a musical chameleon, Braun’s vision and virtuosity have allowed him to stand at the crossroads of the music world. He’s amassed over 20 #1 Smooth Jazz hits and collaborated with Sade, Tom Petty and REO Speedwagon, among others. Braun has produced No. 1 hits for David Benoit, Marc Antoine and Jeff Golub. He’s also achieved collaborative success on massive hits with Boney James as well as with the group RnR, with saxophonist Richard Elliot and BWB, a powerhouse trio completed by Grammy® winners Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown. “When I think about the word ‘crossroads,’ says Braun, “I think about the possibilities for the future as well as the places I have been.” In keeping with this theme Braun enlists a cross-section of friends both old and new. He’s joined by dear friends, keyboardist Philippe Saisse, guitarist Peter White, bassist Nate Phillips, tenorman Richard Elliot, drummer Eric Valentine and percussionist Richie Garcia. He also welcomes some first time collaborators keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, guitarist Michael Thompson, and drummer Gregg Bissonette. Braun explains, “The common thread is the musicality that everyone brought to this project. I’m so thrilled with the playing on this record. Everyone stepped up and I think there are a lot of wonderful musical moments to be heard.”

Shanachie VP of A&R, Danny Weiss states, “Rick’s tone, chops and phrasing link him to the jazz giants of the past. He can hold his own in any setting. Yet he communicates to a vast audience far beyond the jazz aficionado. His warmth, wit and musical spirit make him a great communicator – a hit maker!”

Crossroads, Rick Braun’s 18th recording as a leader, opens with the percussive and funky “Around The Corner.” The song, which was inspired by his daughter Emma, is the perfect intro as it illustrates Braun’s knack for crafting memorable grooves with fluid and soaring melodies that have a way of instantly drawing you in. “Since my daughter Emma was born every project of mine has included a song for her that she can go outside and just let loose and dance to,” says Braun. “These songs usually end up being some of the most well liked songs on the record!” Braun co-wrote the Latin-tinged and breezy composition “Brazz Street” with Chris “Big Dog” Davis, who he likes to refer to as the ‘Neil Simon of music production.’ “He is one of the most talented arrangers and producers I have ever met. If I reach out to him and I tell him what I need on a record, more often than not he delivers me a track that just gets the job done so beautifully within days of my request.” The album’s first single “Crossroads,” is a buttery-smooth swinger that showcases Braun’s joyous interplay with longtime collaborator, friend and co-writer Philippe Saisse on keys and vibes. “Philippe first brought it in and it had a very four on the floor disco eurobeat and after I listened to it with the help of my co-producer Bud Harner (who also plays drums on ‘Family’) Philippe and I went back to the drawing board and turned it into this wonderful song that ended up being the title cut for the record,” shares Braun. “Philippe is definitely one of the most talented people I’ve ever known in my life. He is one of those people that pushes me to the next level.” Continue reading