Kingston, Jamaica born guitarist Norman Johnson was inspired by guitar players like George Benson, Wes Montgomery, and Earl Klugh to learn this instrument. If Time Stood Still was his solo debut on the label Pacific Coast Jazz in 2010. Soon followed Get It While You Can (2013) and this year The Art Of Life.

On his new album he plays guitar, bass, piano, vocals, programming and is accompanied by Alex Nakhimovsky, Mitch Chakour (piano), Grayson Hugh, June Bisantz (vocals), Atla DeChamplain, Lisa Marien, Polly Messer (background vocals), Bill Holloman (horns), Chris Herbert, John Mastroianni (sax), Steve Davis (trombone), Jeffrey Holmes (trumpet), Matt Dwonszyk (bass), and Ed Fast (drums).

The album begins with Slide. This is a particular technique for playing the guitar that is often used in blues-style music. In this case the title is simply describing the dance moves as often mentioned by other critics.

The uplifting Sing On features vocalist Grayson Hugh. Grayson's eventful life is also reflected in the smoky timbre of his voice. The Art of Life is a mid-tempo contemplating tune with an emotional touch. The catchy main theme is likely to become popular.

Old School has a slamming vibe and is powerfully supported by the participating horn section. The love ballad It's You showcases female jazz vocalist June Bisantz with which Norman regularly performs as you can see from the Facebook entries of the singer. The lively piece shows a vital image of all musicians. The final Summer Dance enchants with Latin flavor and Norman's virtuosic acoustic guitar performance.

Norman Johnson's The Art Of Life is pure sunshine captured in notes. A good example of joy in life and music.






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Album Information

Title: The Art Of Life
Artist: Norman Johnson
Year: 2019
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Independent


1 Slide 3:59
2 Sing On 4:00
3 The Art of Life 4:02
4 Old Skool 3:59
5 It's You 5:18
6 Summer Dance 3:57