Norman Brown  - Stay With Me



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 programming.

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.



  • Buy the album at
    • all stores


  • Title: Stay With Me
    Artist: Norman Brown
    Year: 2007
    Length: 0:45:33
    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]