Can You Feel It

Can You Feel It

Rick Braun set aside his smooth grooves for 2011’s aptly titled Sings with Strings. While that effort was no embarrassment, the trumpeter goes back to his funky, mostly instrumental sweet spot with Can You Feel It. He also brings some pretty heady players along with him—Dave Koz joins the fun for the soulful standout “Get up and Dance,” while Brian Culbertson adds piano to the uptempo “Back to Back.” Jeff Lorber cowrites both “Delta” and “Radar” and plays guitar and keyboards on them too. Braun is even joined by Euge Groove on Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” and the horn-driven “Dr. Funkenstein,” with American Idol's Elliott Yamin lending his vocals to the former. But despite this revolving door of personnel, Braun and coproducer Bud Harner make the chemistry sound as natural as a working band. The two also exercise a distinct sense of taste, eschewing the dated production sheen of most smooth jazz efforts in favor of something closer to timeless R&B.

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