Sometimes we meet people that we immediately recognize deserve to be at the top of the field because they possess the right characteristics in ability and personal integrity. Such is what we discovered in saxophone extraordinaire Tom Braxton. He is a kind and gregarious soul with the musical spirit of a tiger on the Serengeti. He controls the stage when he is on it!
As always, in this post we will include many live performance videos as well, but we start with an interview that highlights Tom Braxton’s warm and easy-going personality, a trait that has easily transferred over to his playing.
Tom Braxton was saxophonist and musical director for Smooth Jazz legend Wayman Tisdale. His relationship with Wayman extended over 15 years until Smooth Jazz tragically lost Wayman and Tom lost a friend. We start with a performance of Steely Dan’s classic tune “Peg” featuring Tom Braxton and Wayman Tisdale.
Tom shared with us that he is beginning the process of writing for his next CD. As we wait, let’s check out the title track to his last release titled, “Endless Highway.” When he released “Endless Highway, SmoothJazz.com wrote, “. . . it’s absolutely his best album to date! Tom Braxton is a treasure, both as a musician and as a human being . . . ENDLESS HIGHWAY is filled with that ‘sweet sound’ and positive energy we’ve come to expect from this incredibly talented composer, producer, and musician. “
Tom has shared the stage with many well-known artists including David Sanborn, Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Peter White, Earl Klugh, George Duke, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Marcus Miller, Keiko Matsui, Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross and Phillip Bailey. That’s pretty impressive company to keep and a resume topper that one earns only by performing at the highest level of musicianship. Here is another song off the Endless Highway CD titled, “Open Road.”
Tom Braxton wrote and performed a tribute to Wayman Tisdale titled, “That Wayman Smile.” It is as heartfelt as everything else Tom Braxton touches, plays or speaks. We present “That Wayman Smile” here.
We hope the next time we see Tom Braxton, it will be back in New York, but trust us when we tell you, he is worth travelling anywhere to see!