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Trumpeter Provides the Package's Braun

July 11, 1996|ZAN STEWART | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Being the "More" on the "Guitars, Saxes & More" tour isn't what you'd call top-drawer billing. But marquee mention or no, trumpeter Rick Braun says he is happy to be part of the package that includes guitarists Peter White and Marc Antoine and saxophonist Kirk Whalum. It comes to the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana on Friday.

"Trumpet doesn't get a lot of respect. We're like the Rodney Dangerfields of the contemporary jazz world," Braun joked during a recent phone conversation.

But, he added, "anybody could be the 'More.' I'm glad it's me! It's a dirty job, but it's a role I accept."

Whalum is the "Saxes," plural, by virtue of the fact he plays both tenor and soprano. Known for his big tone and gospel/R&B approach, Whalum has been part of Whitney Houston's band.

Sweet-toned yet funky Braun was named 1995's adult alternative artist of the year by the Gavin radio trade magazine, which also chose his "Beat Street" release (on Bluemoon) as the year's best adult alternative album.

Antoine, a native of Paris, has sparked guitar fans with his easy-on-the-ears mix of classical and urban styles on such albums as "Urban Gypsy."

White is a rock-rooted performer who has been heard with Al Stewart and Basia and whose own "Reflections" album has sold solidly.

Their U.S. tour wraps up after six weeks with the Galaxy date and the Pasadena Jazz Festival the next day.

Braun enjoys the diversity of styles that exists among himself and his partners, whom he considers "good entertainers as well as good musicians."

"We each do condensed versions of our own shows [backed by Whalum's rhythm section], but we also get to draw on each other's talents. Like, Kirk plays with me, I play with Peter, Peter plays with Marc. Then at the end we all play on my tune 'Marty's Party' and kind of duke it out. A different guy wins every night."

* What: "Guitars, Saxes & More" with Peter White, Marc Antoine, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun.

* When: Friday at 8 p.m. (a 9:30 show has been canceled).

* Where: The Galaxy Concert Theatre, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana.

* Whereabouts: Take the San Diego (405) freeway to Harbor Boulevard and go north. Take the third right, Lake Center Drive. The Galaxy is on the left.

* Wherewithal: $19.50-$21.50.

* Where to call: (714) 957-0600.

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