Rick Braun – Christmas Present, Music of Warmth & Celebration (1994)

FrontCover1.jpgRick Braun (born July 6, 1955, in (Allentown, Pennsylvania) is a smooth jazz trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.

Braun’s mother was a self-taught pianist and banjoist. Braun played drums in high school, then followed his brother in playing the trumpet. In the 1970s, he attended the Eastman School of Music, and while a student there became a member of a jazz-fusion band, Auracle. The band worked with producer Teo Macero, and Braun co-produced the second album.

During the 1980s, he entered the pop music world. He released an album in Japan as a singer, then worked as a songwriter for Lorimar (Warner Chappell). He wrote the song “Here with Me” with REO Speedwagon, and it became a top twenty hit. When he returned to the trumpet, he worked as a studio musician and touring member with Crowded House, Natalie Cole, Glenn Frey, Tom Petty, Sade, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, and War.

He released his debut solo album, Intimate Secrets (Mesa, 1992), followed by Night Walk and Christmas Present. His popularity increased enough by 1995, when he released Beat Street, that he was persuaded to pursue a solo career.

Rick Braun

He has cited as influences Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Chet Baker, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and Herb Alpert, with the last one inspiring his album All It Takes including a song called “Tijuana Dance” (a play on Alpert’s band Tijuana Brass). One of his influences was Freddie Hubbard, and Braun composed a song, “Freddie Was Here” in 2008, which he recorded on his album, All it Takes, in tribute to Hubbard, who died that year.

He achieved several top chartings including Kisses in the Rain (as high as number 1), R n R (as high as number 1), All It Takes (as high as number 2), and Can You Feel It (as high as number 1) along with charting at the Traditional Jazz Albums for the first time in 2011 with Sings with Strings (as high as number 9).

Braun performs in the band BWB, with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and guitarist Norman Brown.

In 2005, he and saxophonist Richard Elliot co-founded ARTizen Music Group (now known as Artistry Music) and once had Rykodisc as a distributor.

Braun won Gavin Report’s Artist of the Year twice. (by wikipedia)

Rick Braun2

Christmas Present — Music of Warmth and Celebration is a pleasant, laidback collection of smooth jazz that’s ideal background music for holiday parties. Braun runs through a number of classic Christmas carols (“The Christmas Present,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?”) and several original pieces that often evoke the spirit of the season, making it a nice Christmas record for fans of smooth jazz and fusion. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)


Rick Braun (trumpet, piano, flugelhorn)
Russ Braun (trombone)
Curtis Brengle (piano)
Kevin Brown (trumpet)
Jack Daro (bass)
Vinny D’Onofrio (guitar)
Brad Dutz (drums, percussion)
Bob Feldman (bass)
John Grab (trombone, vello)
Cliff Hugo (bass)
Dave Karasony (drums)
Nick Lane (trombone)
Suzette Moriarty (french horn)
Ed Smith (cymbals)
Doug Tornquist (tuba)
Ned Treuenfels (french horn)
Woodland Hills Elves Guild Choir:
Angela Surfield – Darryl Phinnessee – Rick Braun


01. The Little Drummer Boy (Simeone/Davis/Onorati) 4.00
02. Bell, Book, And Candle (Braun/Lane) 3.36
03. Christmas In Gorgonia (Braun/Traditional) 2.59
04. The Christmas Song (Wells/Tormé) 4.38
05. Jingle Blues (Pierpont) 4.03
06. Far Away (Braun/Reilly) 3.25
07. Christmas Present (Braun/Lane)
08. O Tannenbaum (Traditional) 3.43
09. It’s Christmas (Traditional) 4.09
10. The Christmas Clock (Braun) 3.13
11. Do You Hear What I Hear? () 4.22
12. Newborn Christmas (Feldman/Smith) 3.35
13. Maybe Next Year (Braun/Brengle) 4.43
14. Grandma’s Music Box (Braun) 2.45