10 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trumpeter Rick Braun put himself out there as a vocalist on Sings With Strings and Swingin’ in the Snow, but subsequent efforts (Can You Feel It, Around the Horn) found him resuming his instrumental focus. He continues that trend on Crossroads, singing through his mellifluous horn and involving trusted friends and associates, including keyboardist Philippe Saisse, acoustic guitarist Peter White (“Me and You”), electric guitarist Michael Thompson (the brilliant textures on “Family”), and drummer Gregg Bissonette (the Brazilian-tinged “Bahia”). Michael Jackson’s former keyboardist Greg Phillinganes makes tangy contributions to Braun’s Stevie Wonder cover “I Wish” (with Braun’s subtle plunger muting in the mix as well), while Braun’s teenage son Kyle capably handles the keyboard intro on “Versace on the Floor,” the closing Bruno Mars cover. Braun is restrained and elegant on much of the material, which is smartly produced and breezily grooving—though “Family” stands out for its contrasting pop/rock aesthetic and its simple infectious melody.

Apple Digital Master

EDITORS’ NOTES

Trumpeter Rick Braun put himself out there as a vocalist on Sings With Strings and Swingin’ in the Snow, but subsequent efforts (Can You Feel It, Around the Horn) found him resuming his instrumental focus. He continues that trend on Crossroads, singing through his mellifluous horn and involving trusted friends and associates, including keyboardist Philippe Saisse, acoustic guitarist Peter White (“Me and You”), electric guitarist Michael Thompson (the brilliant textures on “Family”), and drummer Gregg Bissonette (the Brazilian-tinged “Bahia”). Michael Jackson’s former keyboardist Greg Phillinganes makes tangy contributions to Braun’s Stevie Wonder cover “I Wish” (with Braun’s subtle plunger muting in the mix as well), while Braun’s teenage son Kyle capably handles the keyboard intro on “Versace on the Floor,” the closing Bruno Mars cover. Braun is restrained and elegant on much of the material, which is smartly produced and breezily grooving—though “Family” stands out for its contrasting pop/rock aesthetic and its simple infectious melody.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Greyhound Man ,

Great Listen!

Rick never fails to produce anything but fine tunes. Live or his latest CD, always a good listen. Thanks for the tunes.

Philly Bob ,

Nothing that I enjoyed.

Thanks to iTunes, I was able to give a listen to Rick’s new effort before it is released in August. All I can say is see my review from 2017 for Rick’s Around The Horn CD. In my 30 plus years of listening to Smooth Jazz starting with the birth of Kenny G, and all those who followed shortly after, it appears to me that time has taken its toll. In my opinion, the creativity and originality of most, or maybe 90% of my favorite smooth jazz artist, listed in my 2017 review for Rick’s Around The Horn, have reached their peak. Too many remakes from other artist and their new originals sound like their earlier originals. I have listened to some of the new “Millennial” Jazz/Smooth Jazz musicians and it is like listening to Rap or Hip Hop Jazz. I hate to say it, but I need more Kenny G or Boney James early 90’s sound. Maybe it is not the music that’s getting old. Maybe it’s me…getting old!

From the early 80’s up to 2003/4, I spent thousands of dollars purchasing an entire CD for just one song by my favorite smooth jazz artist. Apple’s iTunes, allows me to listen before I purchase and 1.30 seconds is all I need to make a determination. Sadly, I did not like a single song on Crossroads.

SmoothJazz.com Global ,

SMOOTHJAZZ.COM REVIEW

One of Smooth Jazz’s most innovative and popular hitmakers as both artist and producer, trumpet and flugelhorn great Rick Braun springs into his second quarter century with CROSSROADS, an eclectic collection showcasing the multitude of styles he loves. Ensembling with a crew of longtime collaborators (Philippe Saisse, Richard Elliot, Peter White) and for the first time with funky studio legends Greg Phillinganes, Michael Thompson and Gregg Bissonette), Braun dives deep into contemporary pop, old school dance/funk, bossa nova, Americana, Latin jazz and other tasty styles. Braun reflects his joy as a family man with a thoughtful tribute to his maternal grandparents, a vibrant jam dedicated to his daughter Emma and tapping his son Kyle create a lush keyboard intro to a cool re-imagining of a recent Bruno Mars hit.

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