Grammy-winning guitarist Norman Brown is a big believer in broadening his horizons. Brown delivers a mix of old and new, including a special dedication to the troops serving in Iraq, on his latest album, Sending My Love.
Norman Brown hasn't lost his touch for making award-winning "smooth" jazz. In fact, his new album claims several jazz styles, including a Latin melody on the track, "Play Time."
One of Brown's earliest musical influences was rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. But, when his father introduced him to the music of guitar virtuoso Wes Montgomery, Brown became hooked on jazz. He relocated from Kansas City to Los Angeles to further his guitar studies, and after a short tenure in the jazz clubs, he landed a recording contract with Motown subsidiary MoJazz. In 2003, he shared a Grammy Award with producer Paul Brown (no relation) for Best Pop Instrumental Album, Just Chillin'.
When he's not in the recording studio, Brown spends most of the year on tour. One of his favorite venues is the annual Smooth Jazz Cruise to the Caribbean. He's currently headlining his "Summer Storm Tour" with saxophonist Jessy J and vocalists Phil Perry and Brenda Russell.
For his new release, Brown turned the Kenny Loggins' tune "Celebrate Me Home" into a dedication to his daughter Kesha, a West Point graduate and first lieutenant fighting in Iraq. Brown says, "I think about all of the families of these troops and the troops themselves, and 'Celebrate Me Home' hits it on the head. We all want to see them come home safely."
Brown's arrangement of "Celebrate Me Home" features his other daughter Rochella on vocals, with a choral performance by Sounds of Blackness.