Premium guitarist Norman Brown took his time since his previous solo album Sending My Love (2010). That was probably caused by his collaborations with Gerald Albright (24/7) and the group BWB (Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Norman Brown) releasing Human Nature (2013) and BWB (2016).

Let It Go (2017) is Norman's debut at Shanachie Entertainment. What makes an instrumental guitar album to something very special? The arrangement? The performance? The talent? Musical enthusiasm? Certainly a bit of everything. But also important is the overall concept of the album.

Norman developed a coherent approach, a spiritual plan for the ultimate acoustic moment. The intro Lessons of the Spirit shows this intellectual style in musical implementation. Like George Benson Norman is one of the blessed guitarists always on the quest after the ideal melody. It Keeps Coming Back is the proof that he is often very close to the target.

Let It Go is the experience based advice, to give up what you cannot hold back. A quiescent, self-forgotten guitar performance that rests in itself like the mantra of a wise man. Ooh Child written by Stan Vincent and first released by the Five Stairsteps in 1970 attracted many musicians to cover versions. Norman Brown counts on the characteristic vocals of singer TrayCar aka Tracy Carter, and his extraordinary ability to accompany Norman's guitar with scat.

Conversations is a song about our inner voice and the external influences, which we have to balance to find the right way. The song features the Sisters of Unbreakable love S.O.U.L. LaNika Tapii, Kesha Jaramilla, Rachelle Brown in connection with TrayCar in perfect vocal harmony. Living Out Your Destiny is the third song of the vocal trilogy presenting these vocalists combining style elements of smooth jazz and musicals.

Holding You is Norman's fulfillment of a lifelong dream, to reunite with the enthralling Chanté Moore in a mesmerizing duet. Can it be something other than a love song? The North Star features saxophonist Marion Meadows. The first part of the tune is so far very special, as both play in sync, before they dissolve in the second part in a question and answer mode. Musician and composer Arlington Jones shares with Norman the opinion, that music definitely has a message. In the case of Very Woman the focus of the theme is obvious.

Liberated outbursts in joy, lightening, triumph, a conglomerate of positive emotions. Star-trumpeter Rick Braun and sax legend Kirk Whalum join Norman in the best known formation BWB. The overall stunning piece shines with a Salsa twist on the second half. On Remember Who You Are Norman's guitar riffs are the glue that allows the tune to win. Kirk plays a secondary role and lets Norman stay in the limelight. The final tune Man In The Mirror starts with a minimalistic introduction of guitar and percussion, before further instruments join in and than the vocals of Sounds of Blackness. A revelation and worthy homage to the greatest Pop legend of all time Michael Jackson.

Norman Brown's Let It Go is powered by great vocal potential. Compared to his previous albums however, this leads to the reduction of the instrumental pieces. As one of the icons of smooth jazz Norman stays on the pinnacle of his musical career and has blessed us again with this work of excellence.








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Album Information

Title: Let It Go
Artist: Norman Brown
Year: 2017
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Shanachie Entertainment


1 Lessons of the Spirit 0:41
2 It Keeps Coming Back 4:09
3 Let It Go 6:18
4 Ooh Child (feat. TrayCar) 5:15
5 Conversations (feat. Sisters of Unbreakable love S.O.U.L) 5:51
6 Living Out Your Destiny (feat. Sisters of Unbreakable love S.O.U.L) 4:36
7 Holding You (feat. Chanté Moore) 4:00 
8 The North Star (feat. Marion Meadows) 4:52
9 Very Woman 4:42
10 Liberated (feat. BWB) 4:39
11 Remember Who You Are (feat. Kirk Whalum) 5:13
12 Man In the Mirror (feat. Sounds of Blackness) 5:10

Further reviews:

Just Chillin'

Stay With Me

Sending My Love