The Braxton Brothers

Now & Forever

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Brian Bromberg is the only other bassist in the genre besides Nelson Braxton who modulates his axe to approximate an electric and acoustic guitar. While the Braxton Brothers -- Nelson and twin brother saxman Wayne -- compose some of the most in the pocket smooth jazz melodies around; the most remarkable aspect of their second album Now & Forever is the way Nelson captures a multitude of moods simply by adjusting his tone. On the light funk tune "Do You Remember," he lays down the thick urban groove with the sort of low pitched bounce his instrument is best known for; then he carries certain parts of the melodies with a pitch equivalent to George Benson's, and keeps that going as the harmony line beneath Wayne's honking improvisations. Even more amazing is the way he approximates a balmy acoustic guitar on the Brazilian sojourn "Angelina," whose weaving sax lines gently remind us of Stan Getz. Nelson uses the same approach on "Just Believe," running a subtle, folksy harmony line behind his brother's low toned, sultry horn.

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