All-Star Recording Features Hot New Originals Plus Songs By Stevie Wonder & Bruno Mars & Special Guests Peter White, Philipe Saisse, Richard Elliot, Greg Phillinganes, Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis & Others
“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 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.”
Check out the title track below.
Rick Braun first picked up the trumpet at eight and felt an instant connection. “I loved the smell of the horn, the sound that it made and everything about it and I continue to love it. I am still inspired by many trumpet players,” declares Braun, who enjoys basketball with his son and playing tennis and golf when he can fit it in. “On a contemporary level I think Till Brönner continues to be a major influence. Looking back, the players who have influenced me most include Clifford Brown, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, and of course Chet Baker.” There was a time when Braun was contemplating pursuing medical school but luckily for us music won. Coming of age in Allentown, PA (about an hour outside of Philadelphia), Braun was acutely aware of the volume of jazz musicians who developed in his area. “The Brecker Brothers were a huge influence. My dear friend Jeff Lorber is also from Philadelphia and Keith Jarrett is from Allentown. There is a rumor in my family that Jarrett is actually my third cousin!” Rick Braun has enjoyed a career longevity that is rare in this business. He has crafted his own distinctive sound and become a staple on contemporary jazz radio. Braun has hosted an annual New Year’s Eve event for almost a decade that benefits autism. His daughter is autistic and Braun has made it a mission to bring awareness to autism. “One of my passions is just trying to help people who are affected by autism. It is really important for me to just reach out and help wherever I can,” shares the inspiring musician.