On April 24, 2007, Norman Brown dropped his latest CD, “Stay With Me” on the Peak Records label. Although I’ve only had time to listen to it a few times, I’ve heard enough to know that it’s a definite winner. Brown serves notice that this is a good cruising CD with his very first cut, “Let’s Take A Ride”. This one is very, very nice. He even does a little George Benson-like scatting, in unison with his guitar playing, and it definitely works very well. “Let’s Take A Ride” became one of my favorite cuts on the CD from my very first listen. Next up is a vocal/instrumental number, entitled “You Keep Lifting Me Higher”. This one is a little mellower than “Let’s Take A Ride”, but it’s still a great cruising song nevertheless. You’ll definitely want to drop the top on your convertible and slow your roll on this one. Brown keeps the groove rolling right along with the next two cuts, “Pop’s Cool Groove” and “It Ain’ Over BWB”. Paul Brown joins Norman on “Pop’s Cool Groove”, and on “It Ain’t Over BWB” Brown is joined by Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun, his former collaborators from the 2002 BWB project named “Groovin’”. Both of these cuts are done very well and I guarantee you will like them too. On the fifth track, Brown presents us with one for the lovers, entitled “So In Love”. This one is a mellow instrumental number, with a little vocal added in the background, and it’s very sweet. Next up on the CD is the title cut “Stay With Me”, a vocal collaboration with Brian McKnight. I didn’t care for this one as much as the first five cuts, but I’m sure many of you will like it a lot. Brown gets back to the groove on the seventh track, “Soul Dance” and is again joined by Paul Brown on this one. “Soul Dance” is definitely my favorite cut on the CD, but it’s not ahead of “Let’s Take A Ride” by much. The next cut “Every Little Thing” is another predominantly instrumental number with vocal background. Brown keeps it on the mellow side on the ninth cut, “A Quiet Place”, which provides us with another very excellent cruising groove. On the tenth, and last, cut of the CD, Norman Brown is once again joined by Paul Brown on "I Need You". “I Need You” is a vocal number that I simply can’t get into. I have no idea why Brown decided to include this one on the CD, and I don‘t care for it at all.
Despite my dislike for “I Need You”, this is one excellent CD, and I give it my highest rating. This is definitely a five star CD and you should get it immediately.
Michael Marsh is the jazz reviewer for TNCP. To make contact, you may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org for review.