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Rick Braun: A Smooth Student

The veteran trumpeter on Miles, Randy Brecker, Lee Morgan and more

Rick Braun

A leading force in contemporary jazz, Rick Braun has showcased his richly melodic style on 12 albums as a leader. On his latest, Sings With Strings (Artistry), the Allentown, Pa., native and Eastman School of Music grad reveals an engaging vocal style on a program of Great American Songbook favorites. Produced by Philippe Saisse, Sings With Strings places Braun in the pantheon of jazz trumpeters who exhibited impressive pipes along with considerable instrumental prowess-a club including the likes of Chet Baker, Jack Sheldon, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Hot Lips Page, Kermit Ruffins and the greatest of them all, Louis Armstrong.

Braun made his debut as a leader with 1993’s Intimate Secrets, and his popularity in smooth-jazz circles continued to snowball with albums like 1994’s Night Walk and 1997’s Body and Soul. In 2000 Braun and saxophonist Boney James collaborated on Shake It Up, and in 2001 Braun made his Warner Bros. debut with Kisses in the Rain. The following year saw the release of Groovin’, by the contemporary-jazz supergroup BWB (Braun with guitarist Norman Brown and saxophonist Kirk Whalum). In 2005, Braun and saxophonist Richard Elliot formed their ARTizen Music Group and released the joint project RnR in 2007.

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