Title - 'BWB'
Artist - Braun Whalum Brown
For those not in the know, Brown-Whalum-Braun, better known as BWB, is a jazz band that is named after its three members: guitarist Norman Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and trumpeter Rick Braun.
If you have never heard of BWB, well, that's a shame, but with the amount of CDs they have released - let alone their solo albums - there's still time to play musical catch up! For these guys (Rick Braun - trumpet, flugelhorn and valve trombone; Kirk Whalum - tenor sax and flute; Norman Brown - guitar) seemingly bring us the Contemporary Jazz Album of the Year, release after release after release!
None more so then, once again, here on the self-titled BWB, out later this month (April 22nd) via Artistry Records. Yet again the uber talented trio bring us an eclectic jazz collection of 10 tracks that make you hit repeat on your CD player time and time again. Their exceptional talents as soul-jazzsters is an event to be savored with each release, and with Rick Braun coming up with some brilliantly layered and fast-flowing arrangements on BWB, you already know the album is one you need in your jazz collection.
With Braun continuing to demonstrate his mastery of old school funk, and both Kirk Whalum and Norman Brown adding a jazzy flavor to some new stunning tracks, the combination of trio starts off in fine upbeat form with 'Triple Dare' and finish solid with the powerhaus 'Turn Up'. In between we get the mid-tempo, sing-along funk of 'Bust A Move,' the late nite smoothness of the title track, 'BWB,' the jungle feverish 'Bolly Bop,' the laid back love letter 'I Want You Girl,' the funky 'Lemonade' ("Lemonade. That's what you've got to do with those lemons"), the Sunday chill out 'Memphis Steppin', and then the cooler-than-cool 'Hey Baby'.
In closing, BWB is a true jewel to listen to and absorb. It is obvious from listening to all ten tracks of the album that they had a blast recording. Yet this album is not just a thrown together work to make money, believe me. I would definitely recommend it as a joyous album album to behold for lovers of all things BWB or indeed smooth, essential jazz.
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