Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Rick Braun & Richard Elliot: RnR

Trumpeter Rick Braun’s last duet project, 2000’s Shake It Up with sax master Boney James, posited that hummable smooth-jazz tunes could find common ground with serious playing. Seven years later, Braun takes the same idea and applies it to an all-original project. This time, Richard Elliot is on tenor sax. Both Braun and Elliot co-founded the ARTizen Music Group, which released this CD. The CD title is somewhat of a misnomer: The first letters of their first names provide the hook, but spoken out loud the title implies rest and relaxation. It may, too, suggest an abundance of cotton-candy jazz, but that doesn’t hold up, either. Braun and Elliot are posed in silhouette on the CD in homage to Charlie’s Angels, and like those iconic TV stars they’ve decide to kick some musical boo-tay.

The CD offers 12 songs, including Braun’s solo tune “São Paulo,” which had previously been offered only as a download. On the rest of the 11 songs, however, Braun and Elliot trade licks as you might expect, occasionally joining on the chorus. Mostly, though, either the trumpet or sax holds the melody like vocalists digging into a duet, delivering a warm and inviting sound. There’s also an air of spontaneity in the playing, even though the sound’s polished and the melodies are always listenable.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published