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Braun-Whalum-Brown, better known as BWB, is a jazz band that is named after its three members: guitarist Norman Brown, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, and trumpeter Rick Braun.

BWB’s first project seemed like a common sense move to executives at Warner Bros. Sax player Kirk Whalum, trumpeter Rick Braun and guitarist Norman Brown were label mates then when an executive commented that he’d like to see them “together grooving,” Brown recalled in an interview leading up to the release of their latest self-titled project. That first collaboration, Groovin’ dropped in 2002.


The second project took a long time coming as all three musicians focused on releasing their own projects and touring. BWB would not return until 2013 when the trio dropped the Michael Jackson tribute recording Human Nature.

Their latest, the self-titled album released on the hot Artistry Music label, is the third installment in the collaboration between Brown, Whalum and Braun and it shows it doesn’t take long for this trio to reestablish a musical connection even after a lengthy layoff.


BWB is an instrumental album, and the vocals used on tracks such as Bolly Boy and Bust A Move are largely an afterthought - although the hook and the asides on the ultra-funky Turn Up will make some listeners fondly remember the late George Duke.

What fans of contemporary jazz and instrumental R&B receive on tracks such as the gliding Memphis Steppin,the bluesy Lemonade and the funky title track are three artists who have developed an easy musical conversation with each other while living up to their reputations as imaginative and soulful innovators. The old saying is that the third time is a charm, and for BWB, their third album together is yet another charm.