Review – ‘Let’s Get Away’ by Norman Brown

Veteran guitarist Norman Brown has been a favorite of ours for quite some time. When it comes to R&B based jazz, he is at the top of the list.

His latest effort, Let’s Get Away is his 13th recording, and he describes it as “A joyful and peaceful mental state, surrounded by companionship in an atmosphere of inspiration and beauty that is illustrated by the colors of nature.”

There are ten tracks of Jazz, R&B, Blues, and Pop flavors for you to enjoy, and guest musicians on this project include fellow guitarist and label-mate Paul Brown, multi-instrumentalists Wirlie Morris, Shane Theriot and Jeff Carruthers, keyboardists Lew Laing and David Torkanowsky, saxophonist Greg Vail, trumpeter Ron King, drummer Gorden Campbell, bassist Jeff Wolfe, and percussionist Lenny Castro.

Let’s dive into the album.

Review – ‘Let’s Get Away’ by Norman Brown

The album begins with Back At Ya. I bet that you never heard Blues described as ‘silky,’ but this is exactly what we have here. Along with Brown’s signature style, Greg Vail delivers a smooth sax that really compliments the guitar play. Be sure to pay attention to the keys which are subtle, but essential to the sound.

The title track is next. Brown is one of the masters of laying down those slow jams. He hits a home run here with Let’s Get Away. There are vocals in the track, but they just appear in the hook. Although we would have liked this to be a vocal track, we are definitely not mad at the guitar lead.

In Easy Livin’, we are getting some Grazing In The Grass vibes, and we are all about it. Once again, the horn and guitars take center stage, and this is simply a feel good song that might end up being your favorite track on the album.

Down Here On The Ground is the lone remake on the album. The Lalo Schifrin composition was recorded by several artists, including Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Brown brings the track into 2022 with an excellent arrangement. I think we can crown this as the official song of Spring!

Brown offers a guitar lesson on L.A. Chill. If you want to define “tickling those strings,” then this is the standard. All of the instruments here have a rich sound, starting with the drums and percussion. The bass is laid back, and the horns just add to the goodness.

Up next is Talk It Out. This one has a Bluesy/Pop feel to it, and this is the kind of sound you might hear as you walk by one of the nightclubs in the heart of Nashville. It has a nice, funky groove that will leave you wanting more.

The groove slows just a bit with Wes Side Story. Wes Montgomery was one of Brown’s inspirations, so this track is a nod to that. If you have a smoothed out playlist, you will want to add this track to the mix.

If you like mid-tempo tracks, then Late Night Drive will be right up your alley. Brown’s guitar sound fits perfectly over the groove, which has a funky bassline and some laid back keyboard play. We like this one as a single release.

We get a vocal track with I Won’t Hurt You. James Champion provides the vocals, and quite frankly, this sounds like something Ne-Yo would record. This is another example of stellar R&B for 2022.

The set concludes with Sunset On Chandler. Brown has some great energy with the guitar play, and the horns sound like something you would get from an old school TV show theme. Throw in that lively bass, and you have a track with a lot of great elements that come together to make a great Smooth Jazz song.

You cannot go wrong with this album. Let’s Get Away is vintage Norman Brown, and you will enjoy every single track.

You can start streaming the album starting March 25.

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