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Tenor saxophonist Don Braden comes out swinging on Workin' with a famous Earth Wind & Fire tune from the mid-'70s called "Can't Hide Love (from Gratitude, Sony, 1975).
The audience is very much with him in this quaint New Jersey jazz club, which has a creative separation between the dinning room and the bar area. Nobody is too far from the music in this relaxed atmosphere. Braden is accompanied by Cecil Brooks III (drums) and Kyle Koehler (organ) to give this trio a Turrentine character. Brooks, who has known Braden since the early '80s, is a key musician who provides the backdrop to this session without needing too much solo time.
Unaccompanied melodic long tones pave the way on both "She's On Her Way and "The Closer I Get To You. The latter is a slow rendition of the well-known tune made popular by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Braden later plays a jazzy rendition of Flack's "Feel Like Making Love that has just the right shuffle to close the set.
"Brighter Days is a happy Braden classic heard on a previous release of the same name (High Note, 2001) with the exact same tempo. The trio adds a very light funk element to another Braden original, "Where There's Smoke. It would be wonderful if a future live recording could bring Braden and Eric Alexander together, as some students from the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops can attest.
Track Listing: Spoken Introduction By Cecil Brooks III; You Can't Hide Love; Spoken Introduction By Don Braden; Looking For Her; She's On Her Way; Where There's Smoke; Brighter Days; Moving In; The Closer I Get To You; The Vail Jumpers; Feel Like Makin' Love.
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!