One of contemporary jazz’s most popular artists, trumpeter Rick Braun has a sound built on a silken, lyrical horn voice, usually set over grooving rhythms. On Crossroads, he doesn’t stray too far from that formula, but he deploys it in a rich variety of contexts.
A collection of stylistically varied originals and covers, Crossroads includes references to (and appearances by) Braun’s family and friends. Braun collaborated on several tracks with keyboardist Philippe Saisse, a longtime friend, and he composed the tune “Me and You” with another friend and frequent collaborator, guitarist Peter White. The laid-back ballad reflects the pair’s genial bonhomie, with White’s guitar responses to Braun’s horn conveying the feeling of old friends chatting. Braun’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” is a joyous, funky jam featuring yet another longtime friend, saxophonist Richard Elliot, who teams with Braun to form a rollicking horn section.