Posts Tagged ‘ Norman Brown ’

Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7

Two heavy hitters in contemporary jazz come together in celebration of music lovers’ all-day, all-night passion. Saxophonist Gerald Albright and guitarist Norman Brown present 24/7 (Concord, 2012).

Albright, a Grammy nominee, is a native of Los Angeles. His career is marked by associations with Patrice Rushen, Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Atlantic Starr, Olivia Newton-John, Maurice White and many others. New Beginnings (Peak, 2008) and Sax for Stax (Peak, 2009) both received Grammy nominations for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Brown was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. His 2002 release, Just Chillin’, received the Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Inspired by Jimi Hendrix and Wes Montgomery, Brown has often been compared to George Benson, both in his style of playing guitar and his vocal scat. During the waning years of Warner Bros. Jazz, Brown also collaborated on several projects with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun. The trio, backed by several other musicians, was known as BWB.

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Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7

Saxophonist Gerald Albright is best known for his popular and signature sax sound. His stage presence is brilliant. He wins the audience in seconds. His newest repertoire consists of Groovology (2002) and Kickin’ It Up (2004) on GRP, followed by New Beginnings (2008) and Sax for Stax (2009) on Peak Records, both GRAMMY® nominated in the category of Best Pop Instrumental Album. His latest solo album is Pushing The Envelope released in June 15, 2010 on Heads Up International.

At eye level reveals guitarist Norman Brown. One can feel his vibrant energy, when Norman Brown fiercely performs onstage. Assembling a huge fan community he is one of the shining stars of this genre. All started with his debut Just Between Us (1992), followed by the albums After The Storm (1994), Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (2000), Just Chillin’ (2002), West Coast Coolin’ (2004), Stay With Me (2007) and Sending My Love, released June 22nd, 2010.

Although both artists know each other since the ’80’s, this project is the first one, they work together. Because of the small time window was the disk recording really short. Brown comments: “When we were recording the project, we didn’t have a lot of time – so we were working on it 24/7!”

While Brown performs on lead and rhythm guitars, Albright expands on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flutes, bass guitar, electric wind instrument, percussion, programming and background vocals. They are joined by keyboardist Tracy Carter, rhythm guitarist Rick Watford and drummer Jay Williams; and keyboardist Herman Jackson, bassist Byron Miller, drummer Charles Streeter and percussionist Ramon Yslas.

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Gerald Albright and Norman Brown – 24/7

As listeners, we like to enjoy music 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So it’s a good thing that contemporary jazz greats Gerald Albright and Norman Brown have been working overtime to produce 24/7, their first album together. This June 19, 2012 release on Concord Jazz, a division of Concord Music Group, offers ten killer soul-jazz tracks of music that never sleeps.

Ever since the debut of Norman Brown’s critically acclaimed 2002 album, Just Chillin’ – which won a GRAMMY® in the prestigious Best Pop Instrumental Category – this innovative and original guitarist has been front and center in the fast evolving fusion of pop, R&B and jazz that has captured the imagination of true music aficionados across the country and around the world.

On 24/7, Brown teams up with saxophone master Gerald Albright, whose high-profile recordings have established the Los Angeles-based musician as one of the most prominent artists and a true “musicians’ musician.” Whether he is playing contemporary or straight-ahead jazz, Albright stands in a class all by himself. His 2010 release, Pushing The Envelope, received a GRAMMY® nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

“The title is reflective of the commitment that both of us have made in terms of our instruments,” Albright says. “Even when we sleep we’re thinking about melodies, recordings, concerts and whatever we’re going to do next. 24/7 also speaks to the camaraderie between us. I first met Norman back in the ’80s, when we would play together at a club in Redlands, CA. Other musicians would stop by, but I was always impressed with Norman’s playing. It was a lot of fun – but a challenge as well. We went our separate ways, but here we are now.” Continue reading

Norman Brown – Sending My Love

One can feel his vibrant energy, when Norman Brown fiercely performs onstage. Assembling a huge fan community he is one of the shining stars of this genre. All started with his debut Just Between Us (1992), followed by the albums After The Storm (1994), Better Days Ahead (1996), Celebration (2000), Just Chillin’ (2002), West Coast Coolin’ (2004), Stay With Me (2007) and Sending My Love, released June 22nd, 2010.

Many of his fans compare his music to George Benson’s guitar performance. This is not pure coincidental, because both artists play Ibanez guitars. That and Norman’s guitar mastery was the reason, George Benson invited Norman to join him on his album Songs and Stories (2009). George commented: “I was surprised at how well Norman handled his vocal parts in the song. His guitar playing is superb, which didn’t surprise me at all, because he’s a fabulous musician. But he also has good vocal range, which did surprise me.”

So we discovered a little secret, Norman Brown has the same qualities as singer and guitarist George Benson. Especially the fans honored his humanity and accessibility, which might be not quite normal for a star of his caliber.

Norman explains the title of his new album “I wanted to send a message to my fans: I am with you.” Norman got great support on this album by artists like Herman Jackson (keyboards), Emmery Williams (piano, programming), Alex Al (bass), Teddy Campbell (drums), Jubu (rhythm guitar) and Kevin Ricard (percussion).

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Norman Brown – Sending My Love

For almost two decades, it has been a veritable love fest between GRAMMY® Award winning guitarist, composer and singer Norman Brown and his legions of fans. And, with his long-awaited new recording, Sending My Love, set for a June 22 release on Concord Records, Brown keeps the good vibes going.

Brown intensifies an already much-beloved recipe of sound, with ten tracks, nine of which he wrote) that flow easily from steamy R&B to guitar lashed flights of instrumental fantasy, all the while keeping things right in the pocket. From the first track – the easy breezy, horn laden, “Come Go With Me” – to the sexy groove of the R&B track “I’m Pouring My Heart Out” to the gentle acoustic guitar melody of “One Last Goodbye,” Brown shows off the stylistic diversity that has gained him a loyal following. He does so by utilizing some of the tried and true musicians, songwriters, and producers he’s worked with in the past: longtime collaborator Herman Jackson, bassist Alex Al, drummer Teddy Campbell, rhythm guitarist Jubu, and percussionist Kevin Ricard. He also reached out to R&B production camp Tha Bizness and R&B songwriters Melvin Moore III (who happens to be his godson) and Floyd E. Bentley III from his Kansas City hometown for the hop vocal tunes “I’m Pouring My Heart Out” and “One Last Goodbye.”

Even his daughter Rochella Brown, a student at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and her songwriting partners arranged a new version of the Kenny Loggins classic “Celebrate Me Home.” Rochella sings with Brown on the beloved gem, which also features a choral contributing from GRAMMY® winning ensemble Sounds Of Blackness. Brown adds that, with a daughter serving in Iraq, he dedicated the song to our troops. “I’m dedicating that to my second oldest daughter, Kesha, a West Point graduate who is a first lieutenant, fighting in Iraq,” he said. “I think about all the families of these troops and the troops themselves, and ‘Celebrate Me Home’ hits it on the head — we all want to see them come home safely.”

Brown flirts with Latin rhythms on “Play Time,” and shares a haunting melody on the instrumental “Special Moments,” which Brown says is one of his favorites from the set. Longtime fans will enjoy the showcase of his guitar prowess on the slow groove “Here’s My Number,” while others will recognize the signature Brown touch on “Coming Back (Return of the Man.)”

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Bruce McKenzie – After Dark Part II

Bruce McKenzie began playing the guitar in 1976 and quickly blossomed into a rhythm and lead guitarist for a southern gospel quartet. During his travels with the quartet, Bruce honed his talent and began songwriting and composing. His skill on the guitar, to include the bass guitar, took on a new level as he developed the core music foundation for the group. After graduating from high school, Bruce went on to college and continued developing his artistic skill. Bruce subsequently joined the military and put the guitar on hold, but eventually came back to his love for playing and started gigging with a group of talented guys in Dayton, Ohio. This was the beginning of Bruce’s calling to jazz!

Bruce finally shifted his musical interest to smooth jazz in 2002 while living in England. He subsequently moved to Germany and released his first major jazz project entitled, Special Moments. This CD sold out at a local CD store in Germany in an amazing 6 days! His release received major reviews from jazz portals around the world and was also reviewed by vh1.com! Bruce then released a second project entitled Aesthetic Melodology and caught the ear of hundreds of listeners around the globe! Bruce then moved to S. Korea during the beginnings of his third and eventually released Destinations upon his return to Germany! Destinations reached many smooth jazz lovers and became Bruce’s signature release! His next release entitled, After Dark is a rich blend of smooth jazz and promises to deliver smooth guitar riffs accompanied by a sensuous and emotionally-charged background of calming tracks!

Bruce has performed in many venues to include a solo concert for a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser in Brunnsum, Netherlands and has opened for major acts to include comedian, Rich Little! Bruce is a solo artist who performs all of his music! His inspiration comes from God and feels blessed to be able to perform! His favorite guitar icons are Norman Brown, Paul Jackson Jr , the late Wayman Tisdale, Marcus Miller and Fourplay!

Now he released his new album After Dark Part II. This release is his 5th release and contains a variety of smooth melodies to relax your mind, body and soul. Whether you are on the expressway coming home or relaxing in your favorite jazz bar, After Dark Part II is a must-have for your collection. After Dark Part II is an expressive reflection of different emotions that he has released through his music specifically for the taste of any jazz connoisseur! This work is a continuum of more releases to come and Bruce hopes that you take a ride and feel the “After Dark” in this project!

After Dark Part II especially for you at CDBaby.