Posts Tagged ‘ The Art Of Life ’

Norman Johnson – The Art Of Life

Kingston, Jamaica born guitarist Norman Johnson was inspired by guitar players like George Benson, Wes Montgomery, and Earl Klugh to learn this instrument. If Time Stood Still was his solo debut on the label Pacific Coast Jazz in 2010. Soon followed Get It While You Can (2013) and this year The Art Of Life.

On his new album he plays guitar, bass, piano, vocals, programming and is accompanied by Alex Nakhimovsky, Mitch Chakour (piano), Grayson Hugh, June Bisantz (vocals), Atla DeChamplain, Lisa Marien, Polly Messer (background vocals), Bill Holloman (horns), Chris Herbert, John Mastroianni (sax), Steve Davis (trombone), Jeffrey Holmes (trumpet), Matt Dwonszyk (bass), and Ed Fast (drums).

The album begins with Slide. This is a particular technique for playing the guitar that is often used in blues-style music. In this case the title is simply describing the dance moves as often mentioned by other critics.

Read more …

Norman Johnson – The Art Of Life

Guitar and voice, an artistic marriage made in heaven. The Art Of Life  is a beautifully crafted recording. Changing directions from projects of the past this recording has two vocal songs which show a different side of his writing and playing. Johnson always keeps it smooth and this recording is no exception. Featuring five songs penned by Norman Johnson and one written by his longtime friends and music companions, Alex Nakhimovsky and June Bisantz. We are given groove, beauty, and a message.

Slide is a slick, groove-oriented song which features Chris Herbert on alto sax. Moving to a different sound for Johnson is his song Sing On, which features the wonderful vocals of Grayson Hugh. In what has always been a troubled world, this song is Johnson’s message of hopefulness for all of us. Old Skool brings a 70’s vibe with a modern sound. It’s totally guitar driven swing. The title cut, The Art of Life, was inspired by Stewart Stephenson’s painting Sassy Wildflowers. It is amazing how visual art and music can elicit the same emotions. The song is a picture in sound and includes the beautiful background vocals of Atla DeChamplain. It’s You is sung by Johnson’s longtime friend, June Bisantz. When Johnson first heard the song, he knew that it had to be included on his next recording. It’s infectious. This song offers so much – a latin groove with Bisantz’s lush vocal and Johnson’s sweet guitar. Summer Dance is what the title says, a song that just makes you think of warmth and movement. Johnson says I wrote this song in the summer of 2016 while on vacation in Florida. Driving along the coast in Sarasota and heading over the bridge to St. Armands Island, the view was so beautiful. This melody came to me that day.

Art and music, sight and sound, The Art of Life is for all of your senses. This recording brings a variety of sounds to your aural palette and like a good painting, can make you think, imagine, and maybe, smile.

You get it on