First time I attended a Norman Brown
concert was at Warren Hill's Smooth Jazz Cruise 2005.
In the opening of his show he acknowledged his roots and showcased
his mastership. From Wes Montgomery's thumb pickin' jazz over George
Benson's scatting along "This Masquerade" to Jimi Hendrix' "The Wind
Cries Marry" he performed music history in a multifaceted suggestive
way. Brown narrated the audience: "Before I wanted to be Wes
Montgomery I wanted to be Jimi Hendrix. One day I came in and my dad
was playing Wes Montgomery and my dad said, "Oh sure, you're into
guitar now, come in and hear a real guitarist." That's when it all
changed for me."
His new album Stay With Me is
a further step to perfection not only as guitarist but also as singer.
"I've always felt like I could do what a lot of the great jazz artists
in the past have done," he says. "Starting with Louis Armstrong, Nat
King Cole and into the future with George Benson, People like this
were able to bring a whole new audience over to instrumental music
because they were singing. So I've been finding the right songs, which
has been successful so far."
Let's Take A Ride shows a
great melody line with Alex Al's impressing bass bridge. Norman
accompanies his guitar performance by graceful scat singing along in the
tradition of George Benson.
The beauty of guitar shines through
You Keep Lifting Me Higher perfectly garnished by Nikkole
awesome vocals. Nikkole worked
with some of the world's top performers such as Babyface, The
Emotions, The Commodores, Gregory Hines, Whoopi Goldberg, Cedric the
Entertainer, and Patrice Rushen.
Paul Brown produced the following
Pop's Cool Groove. Paul garnered high accolades by his production
activity in the recent past. Keyboardist Jeff Carruthers is
responsible for the arrangement of this tune. Jeff is an in demand
sideman and performed with Boney James, Bob James, Jimmy Sommers, Euge
Groove, Michael Lington to name a few.
It Ain't Over BWB is a
funky re-union of the trio Norman Brown, Rick Braun and Kirk Whalum.
Touring in this formation in the past receiving great echo we can
await BWB onstage in the near future. Success oblige.
So In Love is Norman Brown's
ballade. While his vocals keep the refrain, his guitar finds
redemption in numerous licks and riffs.
Stay With Me is featuring
multi-instrumentalist and singer Brian McKnight. Grammy-nominated
American singer McKnight is known by his million-selling albums and
his brilliant four-octave range voice which has the same level as
Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder.
Soul Dance is the second
collaboration of Norman Brown, Paul Brown and Jeff Carruthers. Sam
Riney (sax) and Norman Brown sharing the tune with extensive solos.
Sam Riney is part of numerous albums of artists as Peter White, Al
Stewart, Barry Manilow, David Benoit, Larry Carlton and more.
On Every Little Thing Norman
shows more of his vocals. Nevertheless his guitar play reaches a
superior level simply by his complexity and finesse.
A Quiet Place is produced and
arranged by Norman Brown and Lloyd Tolbert. Lloyd has worked as
a producer, co-producer and arranger for such artists as: Diana Ross,
El deBarge, Cheryl Lynn, Brownstone, Lionel Richie, TLC and Dee
Harvey. Lloyd's most significant contribution on this tune is his
Kenneth H. Williams is the vocal
amplifier on the final I Need You. Sounding like Curtis
Mayfield or Eddie Kendricks we can certainly await more of this singer
in the near future.
With Stay With Me Norman
Brown puts another stone into the mosaic of a musical innovator.
- Norman Brown - Website
- Buy the album at
- Title: Stay With Me
Artist: Norman Brown
Genre: General Jazz
Label: Peak Records
01 Let's Take A Ride [5:01]
02 You Keep Lifting Me Higher [4:18]
03 Pop's Cool Groove [4:26]
04 It Ain't Over BWB [4:38]
05 So In Love [5:59]
06 Stay With Me [3:34]
07 Soul Dance [4:15]
08 Every Little Thing [4:44]
09 A Quiet Place [3:50]
10 I Need You [4:49]