magician Rick Braun is widely known by his solo projects Intimate
Secrets (1993), followed by Night Walk and Christmas
Present (1994). His popularity grew with Beat Street
(1995), Body And Soul (1996), Full Stride(1998),
Kisses In The Rain (2001), Esperanto (2003), Yours Truly
(2005), Sessions Vol.1 (2006), RnR (2007) and in
2009 All It Takes.
He changed the lead instrument from trumpet and flugelhorn to his
voice with Sings With Strings (Artistry Music, 2011). His vocal
approach in the spirit of Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker and Nelson Riddle
underlayed with a superb orchestration reminds at the swing time. The
echo of the audience was mainly positive. That might be the reason
that he continues this year with the album Swingin' In The Snow.
He introduces into his Christmas album with Irving Berlin's I've
Got My Love To Keep Me Warm. This is a Holiday song in full swing
with an authentic big band sound arranged by Braun and Philippe Saisse
and set in scene by Braun on trumpet, Brandon Fields on saxes and Nick
Lane on trombone.
Braun's interpretation of It's The Most Wonderful Time Of
The Year by Edward Pola and George Wyle stands in the tradition of
Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis or Diana Ross. Also the warm sound of
Braun's trumpet gets a proper place.
A lovely surprise is his performance of the traditional Oh
Tannenbaum. After the invitation played on trumpet he sings the
first part of the song in German and the second in English language.
David Benoit adds his elegant swing on piano.
On Frank Loesser's Baby It's Cold Outside Rick Braun is
joined by Mindi Abair in a wonderful duet. This version differs from
many other interpretations by the perfect execution of the
arrangement. Mel Tormé's and Bob Wells' The Christmas Song is
one of the most covered songs. Braun is committed as ever to an
internalization of the Swingtime.
Leroy Anderson's Sleigh Ride finds its vocal equivalent in
Braun's harmonic rendition. Peter White and Rick Braun get it right
homey. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is a Christmas
song introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me In St.
Louis. Time seems to have stood still since then. Dave Koz, Gregg
Karukas and Rick Braun have this treasure preserved for us.
Robert Allen and Al Stillman created No Place Like Home For The
Holidays. Braun has certainly earned the prize for the best swing
version since Perry Como recorded it. Since Bill Crosby's version
I'll Be Home For Christmas became a Holiday musical tradition in
the United States. Rick presents the song with the most subtle nuance.
On White Christmas Braun unites with Manny Ripperson and Steve
Kujala to a heart wrenching song in memory of the Drifters. Silent
Night is Rick's return to Peter White Christmas, on which
the irrepressible voice of Jeffrey Osborne already ringed the bells.
With Rick's sensitive trumpet, Kirk Whalum's adorable sax and
Jeffrey's divine choir you cannot wish anymore.
Who has not found the right music for Christmas, should not hesitate
at Braun's album. Take it!