Jazz has a fluid way of getting around every corner. Its natural ability to transform notes and other things instrumental and musical is what endears it to many adherents and fans. The most popular format is a smooth jazz, often played on contemporary radio, especially those aligned to the style fairly exclusively – LA’s The Wave (94.7 FM) comes to mind.
The opening track (“Let’s Take a Ride”) on Norman Brown’s debut release on his new label, Peak Records, is an instrumental guitar piece, whose style will be instantly recognizable to those who listen to the before mentioned smooth jazz stations, and is good enough to catch your attention right away. Another excellent tune is the instrumental “It Ain’t Over BWB,” with the expressive sax of Kirk Whalum, who plays a more traditional jazz in his sax.
Brown’s vocals are as smooth as his expert guitar playing. I love the guitar sounds of “Soul Dance,” a reach back into the smooth jazz of the late ‘70s, accentuated by the sax of Sam Riney. The saxophone factors into many of the tracks on Stay With Me, a good thing as it really plays into the type of music that Norman Brown can play. There are different saxophone personalities on the songs in the album as the guests vary. But all of them adds their flavourful element to the guitar work of Norman Brown.
Stay With Me is a great album to put on and just listen to. It is not only a joy to listen to but it is also therapeutic in its happy grooves that run through it. You’ll be pleased with all of it. Norman Brown is on my list of music to play more than once.
Smooth jazz fans…enjoy!!