Endless Highway

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
It isn't hard to understand why smooth jazz has been the whipping boy of everyone from fusion guitarists to Dixieland cornetists to free jazz firebrands to the neo-classicist Young Lions of hard bop and post-bop. A lot of smooth jazz -- not all of it, but a lot of it -- has been appallingly devoid of creativity. Nonetheless, it's best to judge smooth jazz on an album-by-album basis instead of condemning smooth jazz in general. That brings us to Tom Braxton's Endless Highway, which favors the more R&B-minded side of smooth jazz. Endless Highway has some positive attributes; Braxton is a skillful tenor, alto and soprano saxophonist, and this 2009 release isn't just an album of mindless elevator music. But Endless ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
It isn't hard to understand why smooth jazz has been the whipping boy of everyone from fusion guitarists to Dixieland cornetists to free jazz firebrands to the neo-classicist Young Lions of hard bop and post-bop. A lot of smooth jazz -- not all of it, but a lot of it -- has been appallingly devoid of creativity. Nonetheless, it's best to judge smooth jazz on an album-by-album basis instead of condemning smooth jazz in general. That brings us to Tom Braxton's Endless Highway, which favors the more R&B-minded side of smooth jazz. Endless Highway has some positive attributes; Braxton is a skillful tenor, alto and soprano saxophonist, and this 2009 release isn't just an album of mindless elevator music. But Endless Highway could have been much better. Braxton offers his share of likable grooves; the problem is that most of the time, this CD is a victim of its own production. The disc's producers, who include Tim Gant, Eric Willis, Jay Rowe and Braxton himself, all have a tendency to overproduce. Braxton isn't given nearly enough room to stretch out and improvise, and his saxophone playing is smothered by the excessive production. Of course, heavily produced albums definitely have their place -- technology has been a major asset in electronica and hip-hop -- but jazz, as a rule, is better served by a more organic production style. That is true of straight-ahead jazz (be it hard bop, post-bop, Dixieland, swing, avant-garde jazz or cool jazz), and it's also true of a crossover disc like Endless Highway -- which is so overproduced and overarranged that most of Braxton's solos never really go anywhere. Braxton simmers, but opportunities to burn are few and far between. Again, Endless Highway isn't a bad album. But Braxton is capable of much more.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/6/2009
  • Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
  • UPC: 829166811059
  • Catalog Number: 81105
  • Sales rank: 104,134

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Endless Highway (4:57)
  2. 2 Just in Time (3:41)
  3. 3 Soul Purpose (3:47)
  4. 4 That Wayman Smile! (4:36)
  5. 5 Detour Ahead (4:06)
  6. 6 The Journey (4:54)
  7. 7 Ventura Highway - Arthur Dyer (4:46)
  8. 8 Open Road (4:55)
  9. 9 Distant Skies (6:16)
  10. 10 Home Sweet Home (4:28)
  11. 11 That Wayman Smile! (3:47)
  12. 12 Open Road (4:04)
  13. 13 The Journey (4:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Tom Braxton Primary Artist, Flute, Piano, Keyboards, Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Joe Ninowski Percussion, Loops
Arthur Dyer Vocals, Background Vocals
Tim Gant Keyboards
Jay Rowe Keyboards
Larry Spencer Trumpet
Gerey Johnson Guitar
Don Bozman Trombone
Len Barnett Percussion
Selinza Mitchell Background Vocals
Pete Branham Alto Saxophone
Derrick "Domino" Winding Guitar
Eric Willis Keyboards
Braylon Lacy Bass, Fretless Bass Guitar
Jason Thomas Drums
Technical Credits
Tom Braxton Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer
Dewey Bunnell Composer
Tim Gant Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer
Jay Rowe Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer
Patrick McGuire Engineer
Joey Lomas Engineer
Eric Willis Arranger, Composer, Programming, Producer
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