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Jazz - Released January 26, 2018 | RCA - Sony Masterworks

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With The Good Life, released in 2016 and for which he took a dip in the Great American Songbook, Till Brönner was at his zenith. The German trumpet player and singer penned an album of smooth classics, leaning toward love songs, which he revisited with elegance and sophistication. With Nightfall, Brönner joins forces with his old accomplice, double bass player Dieter Ilg, to revisit once again the music of great authors. Except that this time, the program couldn’t be more eclectic: from the Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby to Leonard Cohen’s A Thousand Kisses Deep, to Johann Sebastian Bach, Ornette Coleman and Jerome Kern, the duo has tackled a large repertoire. But the virtuosity shared by the two musicians allows them to make the whole project homogeneous. They most of all find a very sensual language. Each note is weighted and the silences and spaces are never forgotten. In short, this Nightfall is the incarnation of elegance. © CM/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released October 30, 2020 | Masterworks

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Confirming the cliché “Unity is Strength”, German trumpetist and singer Till Brönner and the American pianist Bob James have cowritten On Vacation, a work of smooth, hedonistic jazz. Before becoming the king of smooth jazz who has been sampled by every rapper on the planet (his Nautilus has ended up on over 400 tracks by the likes of Public Enemy, A Tribe Called Quest and Ghostface Killah), Bob James made pure, hard jazz, accompanying even the great Sarah Vaughan between 1965 and 1968. A music that was light years away from the funky fusion that would make his money throughout the 70s and 80s. It is clearly this ultra-smooth version of Bob James that fascinates Brönner, thirty years his younger. Somewhat like On Vacation’s sleeve, the two musicians have conceived a meticulous and flawless work that features soul themes carried by silky, comforting grooves. One must also note the immense Harvey Mason’s jazz’n’funk drums which feature on over half the tracks. Amidst the ensemble, Till Brönner’s trumpet holds an incredible lightness and his voice, on the few sung tracks, is like that of Donald Fagen, laid back and carefree. But it is ultimately in the more stripped-down songs like Miranda, those which veer off the beaten track where Brönner and James are alone without rhythmic sections, that the sheer extent of their style shines through the most. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Jazz - Released September 2, 2016 | RCA - Sony Masterworks

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2010 | UMI Jazz Germany

At the End of the Day is an album of light jazz covers of rock songs, which turned out to be a fun idea on the surface, but with little depth beneath. To Till Brönner's credit, he tried to push the envelope quite a bit at the track selection stage -- if the Beatles are an expected selection, and Bowie more or less so too, the Killers are a potentially exciting choice, and the addition of sexy goth metal kings Type O Negative -- who contribute "Summer Breeze" -- sounds like a one-way ticket to postmodern joy land. The thing is, however, all the picks really lend themselves well to pop-jazz renditions with all the required attributes -- sentimental crooning (competent, but appropriately tame), midtempo rhythms, background strings, and sweet, lulling melodies. Brönner throws in some trumpet, of course -- that's his thing -- but this only boosts the '80s ballad vibe of the record. At the End of the Day would be a welcome soundtrack for a trip to a nice restaurant -- a godsend if you're on a date -- but musically, it's not nearly as challenging as the track list would lead you to believe. Chances are, those unaware of the album being a set of covers would never realize that, taking it simply for nice background music -- as cohesive as Muzak is supposed to be, and with little in the way of oddities, space or otherwise. It's still a great record in its own weight class -- soft, laconic, unobtrusive, and pleasant, possibly even beautiful. But it fails to escape the ultimate pitfall of cover albums -- the music is nice, but you still get the urge to listen to the originals if you recognize any. © Alexey Eremenko /TiVo

Jazz - Released November 20, 2015 | Verve

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2014 | We Love Music

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The Movie Album is a career aspiration come true for Till Brönner, a record he's desired to make for more than a decade. His themes from Hollywood movies, classic and contemporary (with a TV theme thrown in), make this more a pop-jazz record than one for cinephiles. Co-produced by the artist and guitarist Chuck Loeb, most of the set was recorded at Hollywood's East West Studios with a crack band of studio aces, with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester's parts recorded in Berlin. For all of this recording's lush harmonics and restrained dynamics, Brönner's playing and the force of his personality carry it off. While "When You Wish Upon a Star," on which he is backed only by the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, is a rather obvious starting point, Gregory Porter's appearance on a soulful modern take of "Stand by Me" -- complete with B-3, Rhodes, and strings -- isn't. "Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso" features the studio quintet and symphony. Brönner's flügelhorn and Loeb's acoustic guitar engage the melody as winds and strings hover. Mitchel Forman's piano solo floats under Brönner's horn, before Loeb solos more insistently. Brass, winds, and strings rise to meet the jazz group. "Il Postino" places Brönner with the orchestra to remind us of his great facility for expression. The same is true for "The Godfather Waltz/Love Theme from The Godfather." For all his restraint, his lyricism is profound. There are some problems: his vocal on "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" is lifeless, and Lizzy Cuesta's (aka Lizzy Loeb) on "Moon River" is amateurish at best. However, vocalist Joy Denalane employs a gentle, classy swing on "As Time Goes By," aided by Brönner's muted solo and a Rhodes piano and guitar. "Crockett's Theme," from Miami Vice, is a welcome surprise. Rather than the sheeny production bluster of the original, the band brings out its innate melody; Brönner's solo is his best one here. "My Heart Will Go On" has been done to death, but this sextet and symphony version is texturally rich and fluid. For these few moments, the tune sheds its cultural baggage to become a solid contemporary jazz number. The outlier is "Happy," used in Despicable Me 2. Recorded after the album was thought finished, it contains a fine horn chart by David Mann. It's funky, finger-popping fun with a gritty tenor sax solo by Everette Harp. The Movie Album's wide variety of themes, strategically produced for adult pop and contemporary jazz audiences, feels intended to achieve maximum chart impact -- but that doesn't make it a bad record. Missteps aside, these beautifully arranged mostly imaginative performances make it a fine addition to Brönner's -- and film music's -- catalogs. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released September 14, 1998 | Verve

"...What's most striking about Bronner's Verve debut is its consummate good taste. Using intimate settings and almost minimalist means, Bronner makes each and every note count....a warmly personalized and rarefied essence." © TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Boutique

For those in America who hadn't previously heard of Germany's most famous contemporary jazz musician, it would only take a few notes from his crisp, distant trumpet to elicit a comparison to Chris Botti. Beyond his tonal approach and penchant for relaxing, atmospheric, and lushly arranged standards, Till Brönner has much in common with his American counterpart: an extensive catalog (Oceana, originally released in Germany in 2006, was his ninth release), work with top pop producers (in Botti's case, Bobby Colomby; in Brönner's, Larry Klein), and a résumé that includes being a radio personality. Like Botti, Brönner draws from the sly and shy Chet Baker school of crooning trumpet and flügelhorning, but he goes a step further; on a silky chillout cover of "This Guy's in Love with You" and the more obscure Nick Drake tune "River Man," the horn takes a back seat to his soothing lead vocals. Though much of Oceana -- which begins with a tender and seductive blues-flavored twist on Wes Montgomery's "Bumpin'" -- is lovely, romantic, and sweetly atmospheric, it falls short when it comes to Brönner's vocal guest list. Carla Bruni is billed as a French chanteuse, but her colorless voice on "In My Secret Life" is nowhere near as sexy as any of her legendary work as a supermodel. Madeleine Peyroux fares a bit better on "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," but the most authentic guest voice belongs to Brazilian singer Luciana Souza. None of the vocals are as compelling as Brönner's straight instrumentals, which don't exactly push the envelope but are well-produced and make for good romantic mood music. © Jonathan Widran /TiVo
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Jazz - Released April 3, 2000 | Verve

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2002 | Boutique

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2007 | Boutique

The Christmas Album features German jazz trumpeter Till Brönner performing various holiday standards in his trademark smooth style. Included are such songs as "White Christmas," "Silent Night," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," and others. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2009 | Boutique

Midnight is German trumpeter Till Brönner's fourth date as a leader, recorded while he was still a member of Berlin's RIAS Big Band. Issued originally by Uwe Buschkötter Button Records, it was picked up by Verve when they signed Brönner to a contract that lasted a decade, making this his debut for the label. Produced and arranged by David Mann with his trademark, polished, 1990s sound, Midnight remains an undeserved sleeper in the trumpeter's catalog. It shouldn't be -- Mann's charts are at their most inspired here. The personnel is almost as much a showcase as Brönner: drummer Dennis Chambers, bassist Anthony Jackson, guitarists Dean Brown and Jimi Tunnell, percussionist Manolo Badrena, keyboardist George Whitty (from RIAS Big Band), and Mann on keyboards, programming reeds, and winds. Michael Brecker guests on tenor saxophone. Brönner plays trumpet, flügelhorn, and acoustic piano. The opener is a long, lithe funk reading of Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin' On," with Brecker and the trumpeter trading fine solos. The title track, co-composed by Brönner and Stefan Raab, is '90s smooth jazz to the hilt, its programmed drums and loops contrast with the languid, melodic, muted trumpet and a popping CTI-style horn chart. The blissed-out wah-wah guitar that establishes the funk in "Highway to Heaven" is a Brönner compositional highlight. Speaking of funk, Whitty's "Reporting from Rangoon" is a bad groover from top to bottom, with nasty clavinet and Mann's canny sense of time and vamp in the horn chart. The version of Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" is visionary and reveals the depth of both emotion and sophistication Brönner is capable of as both a melodist and soloist, accompanied by fat, rolling synths and Jackson's rubbery bassline punching up the horns. Chambers' breaks are tight and hot, adding to the tough bottom in an airy arrangement. "Tribeca" is a vehicle for Mann and Brönner to exchange lyric and solo contributions with guest Ned Mann on upright bass. "Racer" commences as a ballad; it features Tunnell's magnificent guitaristry in one of Mann's finer charts. The set closes on "Waiting," a shiny, easy-grooving, lyric funk number. Brönner's flügelhorn winds through the melody with a breezy grace amid more insistent bass, horn, and keyboard elements with Chambers' elastic drumming keeping the overall flow. Midnight is not only a high point in Brönner's catalog, but a shining light in contemporary jazz. Period. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Jazz - Released January 1, 2004 | Boutique

German trumpeter Till Brönner's 2004 album That Summer features the pop-jazz artists smooth, laid-back horn style. Included are such originals as "Your Way to Say Goodbye," and "Ready or Not" as well as Brönner's take on the standards "Bein' Green" and "When Your Lover Has Gone." © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released December 4, 2012 | Boutique

On his first instrumental album in over a decade, German jazz trumpeter/flügelhornist and pop star Till Brönner offers his own tribute to one of his earliest inspirations: the sound of Creed Taylor's CTI label. Co-produced by the artist with keyboardist Roberto Di Gioia and Samon Kawamura, these 12 tunes employ a crack studio band as well as strings, and evoke memories of the label's arrangers Don Sebesky, David Matthews, and Bob James, but with distinctly modern charts. The mood is relaxed, open, and fluid, and creativity runs high. The production is warm yet crystalline; though attention is paid to detail, nothing feels constrained by nostalgia. These 12 cuts wed hip, soulful jazz-funk grooves to modern jazz, sometimes infused with a subtly cinematic panache. "Will of Nature" has a tight front-line horn vamp (Brönner and saxophonist Magnus Lindgren) that invokes hard bop but sticks closer to spacy soul-jazz -- Lindgren even quotes "A Love Supreme" in the intro to his solo. Di Gioia's Rhodes makes room inside the mix for exploration, while staying deep in the pocket provided by Wolfgang Haffner's drum kit and Albert Johnson's double bass. "The Gate" opens with lush, impressionistic strings that hover and float in the intro, highlighted by Lindgren's flute. They introduce Brönner's smoky flügelhorn melody, followed by double bass, rim-shot snare, and cymbals. The strings vanish and, in a nice timbral contrast, the slippery head is led by Lindgren's bass clarinet and the horn. Di Gioia's Rhodes adds a nodding groove. Brönner's deep melodic solo also adds sharp and high single-note accents embellished by reverb. A too-brief yet astute cover of Freddie Hubbard's "Gibraltar" is populated with shimmering Rhodes, finger-popping hand percussion, B-3, and rippling horns. Don Grusin's classic "Condor" is driven by a rubbery bassline, shuffling snare, and breaks, an illustrative meld of keyboards, background strings, and lyrical, refined front-line horns. There is a slow simmering intensity at play here, infused with canny 21st century sonic illustrations. "Half Story"'s plush backdrop of electric piano and strings underscores Lindgren and Brönner playing in unison, alternating fours, and soloing, introducing a myriad of lyric elements. Di Gioia adds electric guitar to his keyboards on "Wacky Wes," the funkiest cut on the set, but gives up none of the album's textural richness. The date closes with a gorgeous reading of Michel Legrand's ballad "Once Upon a Summertime," whose elegant strings and sparse electric piano create a frame for Brönner to state the melody simply and infuse it with a wealth of emotion. Ultimately, this self-titled album is a monster, offering proof that not only has Brönner not forsaken jazz for pop, but has given listeners what is perhaps his finest recording to date. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Rio

Jazz - Released January 1, 2008 | Boutique

German jazz trumpeter Till Brönner's 2008 album Rio features the pop-jazz star paying tribute to the music of Brazil and particularly the bossa nova. Included are songs by such iconic Brazilian composers as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento (who also appears here), and others. Also featured are guest appearances by singers Melody Gardot, Kurt Elling, Annie Lennox, Sergio Mendes, Luciana Souza, and more. © Matt Collar /TiVo
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Jazz - Released August 26, 2016 | RCA - Sony Masterworks

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2006 | Boutique

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Jazz - Released May 25, 2016 | RCA - Sony Masterworks

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Jazz - Released July 15, 2016 | RCA - Sony Masterworks

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