Our featured artist this week is smooth jazz guitarist and singer Norman Brown. He was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1970. When he was eight years old, he was inspired by Jimi Hendrix and the Isley Brothers and started playing the acoustic guitar. But once he heard his father’s favorite guitarist, Wes Montgomery, everything changed and he began to play jazz. Wes Montgomery was such a powerful influence on so many musicians. If you do not know that story, check it out in our station archives on our Program 2.
In 1992 at age 22 Norman Brown released his debut album. More albums followed in 1994 and 1996 from which he gained critical success and which earned him a broader audience. Suddenly critics drew comparisons to other astonishing jazz guitarists from the past such as George Benson and Wes Montgomery, and Brown became the toast of the soul-jazz crowd. His 1994 album After the Storm, found him breaking through to the top echelon of smooth jazz artists. It was named Jazz Album of the Year, and remained on the charts for over two years.
On the heels of his remarkable success, Norman Brown continued to wow jazz listeners. His eagerly awaited follow-up album in 1996, Better Days Ahead, won the 1997 American Jazz Award for contemporary guitar.
In 2002, Norman Brown formed the group BWB with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun. They as a group have released three great albums that we featured on our program 5. In 2003, Norman Brown and his producer Paul Brown, featured in Program 25 and not related other than sharing a last name, won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album for Just Chillin'.
In 2007 Norman Brown released his album Stay With Me and had a song become his first of 6 songs to reach billboard’s number 1. That song was Let’s Take A Ride
Billboard's top three songs in smooth jazz played.
Brand new 2018 releases in smooth jazz to complete the first hour.
Second hour with smooth jazz classics plus more from Norman Brown