This week, let's check out a sampling of clips featuring trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Richard Elliot, who are coming to St. Louis on Friday, July 30 to perform at the Pageant.
Braun and Elliot are longtime friends and collaborators who had enjoyed successful solo careers before teaming up in 2007 under the handle RnR (sometimes written as "RNR" or even "R 'n R"). However you spell it, the duo's funk grooves have proved popular enough with smooth jazz fans to keep Braun and Elliot working together frequently ever since then.
Today, we've got four recent clips of them in performance, starting up top with the song "Q It Up" from a show in February at Pizza Express jazz club in London. The band members are keyboardist Oli Silk, guitarist Mark Jaimes, drummer Marc Parnell and bassist Frank Felix. Down below, there's a version of "Down and Dirty" from the same Pizza Express gig.
Batting third is a mostly Elliot-centric version of the Stylistics' oft-covered "People Make the World Go Round," taped on a cruise ship this past January. (Note the sign for the ship's whirlpool directly in front of Elliot!) The saxophonist first recorded the tune for his 2005 solo CD Metro Blue, which was co-produced by Braun. The rhythm section for this performance includes Rayford Griffin (drums), Nate Phillips (bass), Ron Reinhardt (keyboards) and Dwight Sills (guitar).
In the fourth slot is a version of "Curveball" recorded by an audience member at a concert at the Lyman Center in New Haven, CT. (The handheld video looks a bit shaky, and the camera's angle doesn't reveal all that much, but the audio quality on this one is surprisingly good.)