Norman Brown makes the cover of the May 2018 edition of Smooth Jazz News magazine. Keep reading for an excerpt of the article or click here to read the full article!
GRAMMY-winning guitarist riffs on multiple touring ensembles and inspires a new generation of musicians globally.
By Ken Capobianco
Jazz guitarist Norman Brown has been on a journey toward spiritual enlightenment over the past few years, and he is determined to take his listeners along as he continues to grow and learn more about the meaning of the universe and his place in it.
His last album from 2017, Let It Go was a carefully crafted and executed song cycle about personal development and understanding. It featured Brown’s unmistakable lucid and breezy guitar work, fluid melodies and richly conceived songs. With guests Chante Moore and his daughters, collectively known as Sisters of Unbreakable Love (S.O.U.L.), Brown weaved together tracks that trace an individual’s spiritual development and movement toward greater self-awareness. It was an outgrowth of the guitarist’s own search for truth, purpose and spiritual renewal.
“We all need to look within to find our truth and our spirit voice, which we often don’t pay attention to,” Brown said recently via phone. “It’s something I’ve been doing in my own life, and my music reflects this. It’s all part of a process, and the music is a product of what I’ve been thinking about over the past few years.”
The 47-year-old GRAMMY winner, who also plays with Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun in the supergroup BWB, said Let It Go, his ninth solo studio album, had special meaning for him as he continues his quest for personal growth and spiritual insight.
“Let It Go really was a pivotal record for me, and there’s a lot that went into it. Let It Go the title is based on the idea of sacrifice the lesser for the greater. There are so many little things going on, and we get caught up in that, and we find ourselves in a corner, so we need to concentrate on what is the greater or the bigger picture in our lives. We need to understand how we grow and develop, and part of that is by letting things go. We do that by listening to our spirit voice.”
The voluble guitarist expounded enthusiastically about how important it is for each individual to pay attention to his or her spirit voice. Brown spoke with the same passion he pours into his music. He is one of the elite jazz guitarists of his generation and a genuine creative force to be reckoned with. As with most musical virtuosos, his music goes in the direction his muse takes him, and right now, he’s focused on continuing on the path set out on Let It Go. His next album, The Highest Act of Love, will be released this summer (he believes in July), and it comes just a year after its predecessor.