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Norman Brown - Let It Go

Posted by April Galenzoski on 2017/08/14

I remember meeting Norman Brown many years ago, on the Smooth Jazz cruise. I was backstage getting set to do some hosting and he introduced himself to me. "Hey Vickie," he said extending his hand, "You're from The Wave in Canada, right?" I shook his hand and answered proudly "Yes, I am. Great to meet you!" He replied without skipping a beat "You know I've won a Grammy, right? So what's a guy got to do to even get a nomination at your Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards?"

I love a man who gets straight to the point. And I have loved Norman Brown ever since.

Apparently I'm not the only one. With this first solo album in five years, Norman Brown has gathered an all-star cast of super-talent to aid and augment his own inimitable Grammy-award-winning guitar virtuosity. That esteemed list includes his BWB Bandmates Rick Braun & Kirk Whalum, Chanté Moore, Sounds of Blackness, Marion Meadows, S.O.U.L (his three daughters aka Sisters of Unbreakable Love) and TrayCar (who mixed the entire CD).

Let It Go is long overdue, personal, enlightening and most welcome! In his liner notes, Norman speaks about the principals of Maat, the ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, morality and justice. These concepts of wisdom and knowledge are an integral part Brown’s life and music. He explains “My desire is for my fans to gain the spirit of joy, comfort, understanding and any hint of direction.”

The lead-off single "Ooh Child" sets the standard most eloquently. “This is an all-time favorite of mine and sums up the thoughts that should dominate our minds especially in the face of obstacles and set backs,” says Brown. “In knowing that things will get brighter, that knowing becomes a force that aids us in the letting go process.” The track features TrayCar (who Norman Brown calls “a very special spirit) on vocals and keys.

Norman also reunites with Chanté Moore for the steamy duet “Holding You,” showcasing not only her buttery vocals but his own sizzling vocal chops.

“Liberated,” brings the boys of BWB back together with Rick Braun and saxophonist Kirk Whalum (who also guests on “Remember Who You Are”) adding their own chunky, funky vibes to the mix. Marion Meadows shines on "The North Star" and even Norman's three daughters bring on the S.O.U.L. “They have all had the gift of music flowing in them,” says Brown of his vocalist/keyboardist daughters. LaNika (a graduate of Musicians Institute of Hollywood), Rochella (a graduate of Berklee College of Music) and bassist/vocalist Kesha (a West Point Military Academy graduate) sparkle with their dad in “Conversations.”

Let It Go seamlessly merges aspects of jazz, R&B, pop and blues to create pure Norman Brown soul. “My blending and crossing of styles happens organically by allowing the content to reveal its elements. There are only two kinds of music - good and bad.”

I'm happy to report that Let It Go is very, very good. And Norman, if we ever bring back the Canadian Smooth jazz awards ... well ... ya just never know.


Vickie van Dyke
Morning Host

Comments

Posted by patrick driscoll (mississauga) on 2017/08/15
Keep the good stuff rolling Pat
Posted by on 2017/08/15

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