337

Endless Highway: Tom Braxton

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Endless Highway: Tom Braxton Saxophonist Tom Braxton's music has been called "smooth jazz," which is somewhat unfortunate. Yes, he is a smooth jazz artist, but he also has the foresight to assimilate soul, funk and R&B into his compositions. In melding these forms he adds snap, crackle and drive, making the journey on his Endless Highway a highly enjoyable experience.

Braxton plays tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, and he's at ease on all of them. The tenor gives him the greatest bite, and he revels in the intensity that he can project to draw in the listener. The funk grows hard on the title song, hewn layer upon layer. Braxton gives the melody an indelible presence by keeping it constantly in the groove. With percolating loops and strong horn arrangements that slip in and fill space before swerving out, this opener is a harbinger for what is to follow.

"The Journey" is lifted by the sweet sounds of the soprano sax, lilting and casting a spell with a melody that tickles the mind. The beat is programmed yet trenchant, and it never loses its way into a cavern of empty time keeping. And as the music fairly sizzles, singer Selinza Mitchell adds some sweetness to complete the allure.

Arthur Dyer sings "Ventura Highway," America's hit song from 1972. The pulse of the song's original acoustic folk-pop style is changed here to a smooth soul reworking. It makes for a nice change of pace before the punch returns with Derrick "Domino" Winding's chiming guitar and Braxton's soprano sax on "Open Road." The arrangement ups momentum through the conversation between Braxton and Winding, with the saxophonist's flint-edged phrases adding the sinew. Throughout Endless Highway, Braxton transforms style into substance impressively. .


Track Listing: Endless Highway; Just in Time; Soul Purpose; That Wayman Smile; Detour Ahead; The Journey; Ventura Highway; Open Road; Distant Skies; Home Sweet Home.

Personnel: Tom Braxton: soprano, alto and tenor saxophones, keyboards; Derrick "Domino" Winding: guitars; Joseph Tolliver: bass; John Carruth: drums, loops; Larry Spencer: trumpet; Pete Branham: alto saxophone; Don Bozman: trombone; Tim Grant: keyboards, programming; Gerey Johnson: guitars; Jason Thomas: drums; Len Barnett: percussion; Jay Rowe: keyboards, programming; Braylon Lacy: bass; Eric Willis: keyboards, programming; Selinza Mitchell: background vocals; Arthur Dyer: lead and background vocals; Daran DeShazo: acoustic guitar; Richard "Rico" Gonzales: percussion; Jennifer Ritter: cello; Joe Ninowski: loop, percussion.

Title: Tom Braxton | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Pacific Coast Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review Vol. 1
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Meeting My Shadow CD/LP/Track Review Meeting My Shadow
by James Nadal
Published: July 22, 2017
Read No Secrets No Lies CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read 50 CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Cantos Invisíveis" CD/LP/Track Review Cantos Invisíveis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "The Big Wig" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "Xabregas 10" CD/LP/Track Review Xabregas 10
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Migration Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Migration Blues
by Chris Mosey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "One Minute Later" CD/LP/Track Review One Minute Later
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!