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Rick Braun: All It Takes

All It Takes re-establishes veteran Rick Braun as the leading force of trumpet-led contemporary jazz. After a CD of covers and a high-energy duet CD with saxophonist Richard Elliot, Braun returns with worth-the-wait music coming almost four years after his last solo project. All It Takes is a collaboration with forward-looking pianist, composer and co-composer Philippe Saisse, who adds sophistication and a European flair to the project that is best expressed in “Puerto Allegre Jam.” It features guitarist Marc Antoine, Brazilian vocalist Vanessa Falabella on wordless vocals, and a rolling and percussive melody.

“Tijuana Dance?,” a tune inspired by Herb Alpert, is a get-off-your-seat radio hit, its rhythm punctuated by Saisse’s programming flourishes. There are other chart-topping possibilities here, including the punchy “Sleeveless in Seattle” and the spry “She’s the One.” Meanwhile, Braun wrote “Christiane” for his wife, who is from Germany, and the energy and brightness of its capital city is expressed in the disco-fueled “Berlin.” Listen closely to the title track: Written by Saisse, it showcases Braun’s full potential. The disc ends with an ode to one of Braun’s idols, Freddie Hubbard, on “Freddie Was Here,” a touching and heartfelt ballad to the jazz legend who died in December.

Originally Published