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  • Jonathan Widran

TOM BRAXTON, "Sharon's Groove"

One of the great joys of instrumental music is being able to bring our own life experiences and emotions to an artist’s vision, so that we may use our imaginations to create a personal narrative as we listen.

So while the average listener may not literally know who the Sharon is in the title of Tom Braxton’s “Sharon’s Groove” – the latest single from the veteran saxophonist’s alternately heartfelt and slammin’, relentlessly optimistic album Lookin’ Up – we can be excited that she inspired him to create such a robust, slow burning mid-tempo seduction that warms up winter in an effortless grooving heartbeat.

Perhaps best known for his lengthy stints in the bands of the late great Wayman Tisdale and Earl Klugh, Braxton’s nearly three decade solo discography has made a powerful impact on the genre and the charts because of jams just like this.

On “Sharon’s Groove,” Braxton rides his sizzling melodic sax line and snazzy textures over the sparkling jangle of Mark Harper’s slick guitar and the tight pocket grooves of drummer Jason Thomas. It’s sexy and sensual throughout, with moments of building funk danceability, the perfect display of romantic passion and a seductive soundtrack for Valentine’s Day or any other loving occasion. Whoever Sharon is, she’s damn lucky to have Braxton groovin’ over her!

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