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All It Takes

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Album Review

Rick Braun has built his career as a contemporary trumpeter based on the basic concepts of predecessors like Herb Alpert, Chuck Mangione, and Tom Browne. Dependent on urban R&B beats, Braun can only marginally be called jazz, but does own an appeal to the smooth music crowd that this produced recording will only reinforce. Teamed with keyboardist and producer Philippe Saisse, Braun follows a path of least resistance in terms of the calculated nature of his music and the simplicity of his melodies. Saisse adds synthesized sounds for the most part alongside Braun's overdubbed flügelhorn and muted trumpet to create soundscapes made of clear plastic and reflecting some prismatic colors. There's not much to distinguish one track from another except slight midtempo changes and some Latin rhythms. "Christiane" uses the two-horn approach effectively in a fairly lyrical setting, "She's the One" is easy-beat funk with plain synths and percussion, "Sleeveless in Seattle" sports a retro sound with handclaps, and "I Got Your Back" offers assimilated horn backing in more substantive ways. On the salsa side, "Tijuana Dance?" is a romp-and-stomp funk with some elegant acoustic and electric guitar, while "Puerto Allegre Jam" is a Latin disco number. "Freddie Was Here" might be appropriate for a film score in a slowed late-night dramatic or perhaps romantic theme. Perhaps the most interesting music crops up during the heavier "Ever Changing World," with Braun's two horns stretching ever so slightly from his lyrically urbane sound. Fond of fluttery notes in introductions, Braun's self-absorbed, passive playing speaks to an urban crowd seeking predictable music, and in this regard he succeeds, remaining in the so-called pocket, not as syrupy as most, but sugary sweet like cotton candy. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Biography

Born: July 06, 1955 in Allentown, PA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

A native of Allentown, Pennsylvania, trumpeter Rick Braun first surfaced as a member of the jazz-fusion outfit Auracle, formed while he was a student at the prestigious Eastman School of Music. After two LPs the group disbanded, and Braun turned to songwriting, scoring a hit with REO Speedwagon's "Here with Me"; in time he directed his focus to contemporary jazz, issuing his solo debut, Intimate Secrets, in 1993. After touring with Sade, he returned in 1994 with Night Walk as well as the seasonal...
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All It Takes, Rick Braun
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