Jan. 31, 2017
Rick Braun always manages to revitalize the C-jazz market whether it’s in a temporary slump or not. His fresh approach to each project is always providing that promise that the genre is in great shape with new ideas, new moods, and new shapes and colors. His vibrant and handsome new release, Around the Horn, is a testament to that as he ushers in new originals and integrates them with innovative covers.
Here on Around the Horn, the veteran trumpeter offers sweet, pure richness on each track. Leading off with “So Strong,” a lively, rhythmic Brazilian-tinged tune co-written by Braun and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist John Stoddart (who also co-wrote a number of other songs here), Braun again mixes a delightful batch of musical goodies including smooth and alluring covers of Charlie Puth’s and Selena Gomez’s “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” Alicia Keys’ “In Common,” and Coldplay’s “Yellow,” as well as infectious originals like “Love Take Me” featuring the sensuous vocals of up-and-coming vocalist Lindsey Webster, the silky “I Love You More” featuring Stoddart on vocals, the snappy, melodic title track, and the exotically becoming “Vila Vita” featuring one of our favorite guitar guys, Peter White.
Sitting in good company on the Billboard charts is nothing new for Braun at all, and this album, arguably one of his best, should have no problem occupying a top spot there again. Yes, smooth jazz, with artists like the consistently enticing Rick Braun producing consistently top quality releases, you’re gonna be just fine. Most of you already know, and others who are just becoming familiar with him will find out that Braun does know his way Around the Horn. Two thumbs up! – Ronald Jackson