Monday, August 31, 2020


 Label: Clark Street Records

June 19, 2020

For nearly five decades, singer-songwriter-musician, Randy Goodrum—whose new solo recording, Red Eye, released on June 19, 2020, on the artist’s own Clark St. Records—has dodged classification by refusing to be easily categorized. On his first project under his own name in many years, Goodrum plays jazz piano with phenomenal skill and emotional depth, and returns to the captivating vocal stylings that graced his several previous releases as a leader.

Red Eye, which features songwriting collaborations with fellow keyboard great and co-producer/co-writer, Larry Williams (who also plays horns), spans several genres, with a pronounced leaning toward what Goodrum calls “Intelligent Pop/Jazz.”

But the dozen-song Red Eye only scratches the surface of Goodrum’s multitude of talents and interests: Over the years, the award-winning artist has also written hit songs that slot into pop, country, rock or no box at all. Some in the music business have told him he’d be better off finding one thing and sticking to it, but the only category that Randy Goodrum has ever wanted to be a part of is the Randy Goodrum category. “Whatever it is, I want to do it my way,” he says. “That is the jazz ethic that I’ve always lived by, and still do.”

Sunday, August 30, 2020

FOLLOW ME 87.6 RADIO SHOW ····· EP 200

In the Ep. 200, we have prepared very special music to share with you to one more week you continue to enjoy with us. Thanks to everyone for listening every week and make this day so special for us. Thank you...

Ron Otis – That Feels Good

Randy Scott – Elevation

Friday, August 28, 2020


Dave Koz's new album will arrive in October. Conceived and recorded entirely under the umbrella of Covid-19. It's called A New Day. The sole purpose of making this album was to bring a sense of hope, comfort, and good feeling to all those whose lives have been so transformed by this pandemic.

 A New Day will be Dave Koz's first album of original material in 10 years with a very special guest list including David Sanborn, Bob James, Brian McKnight, Meshell Ndgeocello, Rick Braun and more ... they all recorded their parts virtually, the release date for this album is October 9, 2020 ... 30 years and a day after the release of Dave's debut album… and to celebrate, he is preparing something very special and unique for all his fans by releasing 6 songs from the album in a new and creative way ahead of the full album release.

 Under the name "Colors Of A New Day", a campaign begins in which every Friday  every Friday from August 28 and for 6 consecutive Fridays, through his YouTube channel, Dave will tell a story and play a song from the new album, using a different color in the background. The first song is "Summertime In NYC", featuring Brian McKnight, and the color will be RED. The next song on the following Friday, the color will be ORANGE and so on. Every week, another song and another color!

 The intention is that at the end of this campaign, a rainbow of colors will be formed ... a beautiful metaphor for where we are in the pandemic, and the rainbow that will be waiting for us once we manage to overcome these difficult and complicated moments

 Dave Koz's offering with this new album is to use the music all the way to that rainbow so that our forward journey is as smooth and bearable.

 "Summertime in New York City" is the first song to be released from Dave's new album, A New Day.

 With the help of Ralph Johnson, the percussion legend of Earth, Wind & Fire, who sets the tone and great voice of Brian McKnight, is a happy and enjoyable summer song that exemplifies the unwavering spirit of New Yorkers, and of all of us like making our way through this pandemic that has changed our lives in incomprehensible ways.

Thursday, August 27, 2020


Label:  Concord Records

February 28, 2020

One common thread weaves throughout the staggeringly diverse tapestry of music that producer, composer, keyboardist and vocalist Sergio Mendes has created over his remarkable six-decade career: the spirit of joy.

From his pioneering contributions to the foundations of bossa nova alongside the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, through the era-defining Latin-pop sound of his iconic group Brasil ’66; his scintillating collaborations with jazz legends like Cannonball Addereley and Herbie Mann to his chart-topping adult contemporary smash “Never Gonna Let You Go;” on through his 21st-century reinvention with the Black-Eyed Peas and John Legend or his Oscar-nominated theme song from the animated hit Rio: an infectious spirit of joy pervades everything Mendes has ushered into the ears of listeners.

The Brazilian legend’s new album is no exception. On In the Key of Joy, released February 28, 2020 from Concord Records, Mendes looks back the only way he knows how – by once again moving forward. Released to coincide with a spectacular new documentary on his life by acclaimed filmmaker John Scheinfeld (Chasing Trane, Who Is Harry Nilsson?), In the Key of Joy melds the classic Brazilian, jazz and pop sounds that have long characterized Mendes’ music with stunningly contemporary inspirations that make the album sound at once utterly timeless and wholly of the moment.

As he has throughout his musical life, Mendes thrives on collaboration on In the Key of Joy. The album brings together fellow Brazilian legends with modern-day hitmakers and young rising stars, bringing familiar voices and fresh life to a set of new original songs penned by Mendes and his collaborators. Guests on the album include Common, Hermeto Pascoal, Joe Pizzulo, Cali y El Dandee, Buddy, Sugar Joans, João Donato, Sheléa and Mendes’ wife and longtime singer, Gracinha Leporace.

To accompany the documentary’s wide-angle perspective on Mendes’ sweeping history, the Deluxe Edition of In the Key of Joy includes the soundtrack to the film, a career-spanning overview that encompasses the greatest moments from Mendes’ musical life. From the unforgettable Brasil ’66 classic “Mas Que Nada” to Burt Bacharach’s “The Look of Love,” which Mendes memorably performed on the 1968 Academy Awards telecast; collaborations with and the dazzling, soulful “Never Gonna Let You Go,” the disc offers an essential primer on Mendes’ ability to place his indelible imprint on multiple styles of music across the decades.

While he’s never been interested in living in the past, the experience of making the documentary and the 60thanniversary of the bossa nova gave Mendes an excuse to look back and take in the scope of his accomplishments.

In the Key of Joy provided the opportunity to make some new encounters as well as reunite with old friends. The album was recorded between Mendes’ native Brazil and his adopted home of California, one more way in which he bridges past and present in an eclectic harmony.

The lilting Brazilian pop of “Sabor Do Rio” opens the album with the instantly recognizable Mendes sound, the lush and sunny blend of voices and horns harking back to Brasil ’66 while Common’s welcoming rap invites in contemporary listeners. Like much of the album, the song was co-written by Mendes with producer and multi-instrumentalist Mika Mutti and woodwind player/arranger Scott Mayo. The propulsive dance-floor pulse of “Bora Lá” is a buoyant backdrop for the vocal pairing of Brazilian samba star Rogê and Mendes’ lifelong muse, Gracinha Leporace.

 The Colombian pop duo of brothers Cali y El Dandee take the spotlight on the sultry “La Noche Entera,” co-written by the pair along with Mendes and the great Brazilian musician/producer Carlinhos Brown. The angelic pipes of The Voice alum Sugar Joans aptly grace “Samba In Heaven;” the singer is a second-generation collaborator with Mendes, her father being Joe Pizzulo, who so memorably sang the lead on “Never Gonna Let You Go.” Pizzulo himself rejoins Mendes for “Love Came Between Us,” which evokes the silky sound of that classic hit.

Bossa pianist João Donato co-wrote and performs on the percolating “Muganga.” In the liner notes, Mendes refers to Donato as one of his “Three Magi,” along with Hermeto Pascoal and Guinga. The former contributes the party-like atmosphere of “This Is It (É Isso),” also performing an emphatic Portuguese rap. Guinga, meanwhile, wrote and plays guitar on the album’s mesmerizing final cut, “Tangara,” which conjures images of sun-dappled beaches and vibrant forests chiming with birdsong.

The upbeat title track features up-and-coming Compton rapper Buddy, who also recently worked with keyboardist Robert Glasper. Singer-songwriter Sheléa dances nimbly around the acoustic guitar lines of Chico Brown on “Catch the Wave” and takes an achingly yearning turn on the ballad “Times Goes By.” Mutti penned the delightfully cheery “Romance in Copacabana,” with its whistling melody and a spotlight for the bandleader’s fleet jazz piano skills.

Revealing Mendes’ inability to stand still as music evolved, In the Key of Joy is stunning in the range and beauty of its spectrum of styles and collaborations.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020



Label: Trippin N Rhythm

August 10, 2020

‘Mr. Marzipan’ is the new single from the album ‘All Stars’ 

Chieli Minucci – guitars, keys, beats

Jerry Brooks – bass

David Mann – saxophones, flute, horn arrangement, sax soloist

Tatum Greenblatt – trumpet, flugelhorn

Mike Davis – trombone

Lin Rountree – trumpet soloist

Produced by Chieli Minucci

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


 Label: Dome Records

August 14, 2020

“If you look at Incognito as being the flagship of my career, consider Citrus Sun as being the indulgent – and for fun only – speedboat that rides alongside her". That is Bluey explaining his love for Citrus Sun, who deliver their fourth album Expansions and Visions. “This band is our getaway, our live-for-the-moment statement”, he says.

And for the second album running, the band did literally get away – to Krabi on southern Thailand’s West coast, where they enjoyed a life of beach and boat trips by day and writing and recording by night. The core of Citrus Sun is the Incognito rhythm section – Bluey, keyboard player Matt Cooper, bassist Francis Hylton, guitarist Francisco Sales and drummer Francesco Mendolia – who are joined by guest musicians and singers.

A gritty reworking of the Ashford-Simpson classic “California Soul” features Noel McKoy, with background vocals from Jamiroquai’s Valerie Etienne and Hazel Fernandes. Valerie also takes the lead on a blistering version of Lonnie Liston Smith’s “Expansions”, described by Bluey as “a pivotal song in the soundtrack of our lives”. Legendary UK guitarist Jim Mullen returns on “Expansions”, “Stay You” (a Seventies-styled tribute to the late Leon Ware) and a very funky instrumental “Hard Boiled”.

Featured on much of the album is the youngest addition to the band, 22-year-old Indonesian harmonica sensation Rega Dauna, who delivers a solo on the jazz funk tune “A Lust For Life” with a maturity which belies his age. Also showcased on that track are the band’s Portuguese guitarist Francisco Sales and Dominic Glover on trumpet. Bluey himself contributes vocals on several of the cuts, including the album closer “Thinking Of You”, a gorgeous soulful bossa duet with American singer Deborah Bond.

Monday, August 24, 2020



Airborne is a multicultural contemporary jazz group based in New Haven, CT, USA.

Formed in the 1980s, these jazz veterans celebrate years of recordings, jazz festivals, concerts, and nightclubs. The members have toured around the world. Airborne has many CD awards at the top of the charts and has received worldwide broadcast and international recognition.

Airborne the proclaimed "Musical Peacemakers" of Contemporary Jazz sends an inspiring Message of hope to the world.

Airborne has a beautiful jazz sound characteristic of Island Passion and Urban Emotion. The hot rhythms of the band gently navigate a fresh sea of ​​music and voices.

Airborne received a Merit of Honor from the World Peace Organization for Excellence in World Music and as Humanitarians.

As musicians, recording artists, educators and humanitarians, the band's quality of excellence and compassion has kept them on the path to success.

Sunday, August 23, 2020



Follow Me 87.6 FM presents…

Skinny Hightower-Blue Moon

Scott Marvill  - Blueish Green - We Are Here feat: Chuck Loeb

 Bobby Porter - Jazzy Fields Of Gold

Dee Brown - The Prize

James Colah - YES!

Special EFX – Mr. Marzipan

Blair Bryant - Power Up!

Spontaneous Groovin' Combustion - Jackie's New Car - Double Deuces

The Moore Twins - Northern Hospitality – Strollin - Breath of Fresh Air (feat. Gabrielle Garo)

Four80East and Cece Peniston - Are You Ready – 5 5 6 -Ba ba Brazil

Paula Aterthon - Just Can't Stop

Mike Phillips - Watching You (Feat Brian Mcknight) - Just The Two Of Us (feat Butterscotch)

Paul Brown – 24-7 (feat Greg Vail)  Just Chillin  (feat Darren Rahn) -  Mind Games (feat Gregg Karukas) -  Deep Into It (feat. Rick Braun)


Saturday, August 22, 2020


Label: Independent

August 10, 2020

From the album ‘Stay In Your Lane”

Ron Otis is one of the most established sidemen in contemporary American jazz. The Detroit-based drummer is renowned for his versatility, improvisation and impeccable timing - incorporating syncopated rhythms and funky accenting. having toured with guitarist Earl Klugh and pianist Bob James for over a decade, Otis usually plays alongside bassist Al Turner.

 He has also played drums for music icon Aretha Franklin and R&B singer Soul KEM.

Thursday, August 20, 2020


 Label:  Unisoul Records

June 18, 2020

With multiple #1 radio singles and  GRAMMY recognized as an artist, producer, composer and studio engineer, Scott Marvill has become a premiere “go-to” guy for established artists and up and comers looking for someone easy to work with any bring many years of experience to the table.

 With the constant push from other artists the time was right to launch his solo career, open Freeport Jazz Studio, get busy recording and release some material. Initially he engaged Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Andy Snitzer to perform on his early compositions. His goal? To make music reflecting his coming up in Philadelphia where he stayed busy as a studio session guitarist, performing, attending Combs College of Music, and teaching privately.

 It all started at home growing up in a musical house. His Dad was by hobby a jazz drummer and his Godfather played jazz guitar. Many nights were spent with his Dad traveling PA, NJ, DEL, and NY following big bands and contemporary jazz artists. The next morning he would imitate what he heard. Some times on drums starting at age 7 or guitar beginning around 12. They say roots run deep. His Grandfather made history performing live on the first televised musical performance in 1939 at the New York Worlds Fair. He performed and recorded mostly on fiddle with country greats and even did some Broadway acting with Bob Hope and others.

 Marvill being self-taught really has allowed him to develop his own style. As he progressed in the Philly scene he set out to learn to read and understand music theory. He soon found himself with 40-45 music students per week where he shared his knowledge but also life lessons with his young students which garnered calls from their parents thanking him.

 His open friendly personality has helped him build a solid base of recording clients be it a single bass or guitar track to a full composition and production to a radio-ready product.

 He has shared the stage and studio with rising artists, legends and Grammy award winners in the jazz community such as Bob James, Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Chuck Loeb, Jeff Lorber, Andy Snitzer, Marion Meadows, Nils, Bob Baldwin, Chris Godber, Dee Lucas, Tower Of Power, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Special EFX, Grover Washington Jr. and the list goes on.

 Today presents "Blueish Green" their new single. Enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020


 Label:  Innervision

July 31, 2020

Jazz saxophonist Tom Braxton has garnered critical acclaim while thrilling audiences of all ages from coast to coast and abroad for over two decades.  From Africa to Japan...from New York to L.A., Braxton’s distinct, melodic sound leaves audiences astounded, clapping, and on their feet screaming for more!  His music can be heard on radio and television airwaves nationwide, and his albums have hit numerous jazz charts including Billboard, RadioWave,, Groove Jazz Music, Capital Jazz Radio, and Amazon.

 This versatile instrumentalist has recorded nine albums including The Other Side (2016), The Next Chapter (2014), Endless Highway (2009), and Imagine This (2007) on the Pacific Coast Jazz label and Bounce (2005) on the Rendezvous label.  He was inducted into the West Texas Walk of Fame in 2017.  He has also been a featured artist and fan favorite on the Smooth Jazz Cruise for 12 years.  This charismatic performer has been a headliner on the Algarve Smooth Jazz Festival in Portugal, the Stanbic Jazz Festival in Ghana, the Smooth Jazz Europe Festival in the Netherlands, and the Nile Gold Jazz Safari in Uganda.  He was also showcased on the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

 Braxton is currently touring with Earl Klugh in the U.S., with past tours in South Africa, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and Japan.  He has also performed with Keiko Matsui in Russia, Eastern Europe, Malaysia, and Japan.  For 17 years, Tom toured extensively with Wayman Tisdale as his Musical Director.  Braxton has shared the stage with many great artists including Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Peter White, Brian Culbertson, Marcus Miller, Candy Dulfer, Warren Hill, Bob James, Lee Ritenour, Paul Brown, Paul Jackson Jr., George Duke, Kirk Whalum, Jonathan Butler, Jeff Golub, Norman Brown, Sheila E., Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, and Philip Bailey.

 After signing with Innervision Records, Tom presents his first single "Lookin 'Up" which will also name his forthcoming album scheduled for February 2021.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020


 Label: Paula Atherton

August 14, 2020

"Just Can't Stop" is the second single written and produced by Greg Manning of the Paula Atherton's forthcoming album "Can You Feel It". Her previous single, "Can You Feel It", was # 1 on Billboard for 3 weeks, and was also # 1 on Smooth Jazz Network. "Can You Feel It", the full album, is scheduled for September 18.

Monday, August 17, 2020


Label: Tune 9 Records

August 15, 2020

Having experienced success as an NYC rocker-composer, producer, and woodwind performer, Warren
Keller, now channels his most vibrant, grooving influences into his role as leader of the perfectly named, fiery, jazz/funk ensemble, Spontaneous Groovin’ Combustion.

In their first year together, SGC attained positions as high as No. 9 on SmoothJazz’s Top 100 Radar, and GrooveJazz Music's Top 30 charts, and are beloved by listeners and broadcasters the world over.  

Spontaneous Groovin’ Combustion's latest single, "Double Deuces," is an uptempo and distinctly urban groove. It is probably the best single released so far, where the maturity of the already characteristic SGC sound stands out with a magnificent work on the guitar by Luigi Pistillo and the fresh sax sound of Warren Keller. 

This song will appear on the group's next self-titled LP, which will go on sale in February 2021.

If you haven't had a bite of Spontaneous Groovin’ Combustion yet, the time is now.

Sunday, August 16, 2020



Welcome to Follow Me 87.6 world. This is the music for the new edition



Just Can't Stop Paula Atterton

The Smooth Jazz Alley - EBF (feat. Joel Del Rosario)

WaKaNa - Go for the Sound

Ron Otis - Stay in Your Lane (feat. Nelson Rangell) -

Spontaneus Groovin Combustión (Warren A Keller) - Double Deuces

Groove Frequencies - Funky J (feat. Jimmy Reid)

Saturday, August 15, 2020


 Label: Woodward Avenue Records

August 14, 2020

Producer, engineer, guitarist, singer, songwriter and winner of two GRAMMY® Awards, Paul began his career as a producer, scoring more than 60 contemporary jazz hits for radio.

 The Los Angeles-born and raised guitarist's R&B-driven sound has been a staple in urban jazz since the early 1990s, when it produced saxophonist Boney James's debut, Trust. Since then he has worked with many of the genre's most influential artists, including Larry Carlton, Peter White, Euge Groove, Rick Braun, Kirk Whalum, Jeff Golub, Al Jarreau, Jessy J. Luther Vandross, and George Benson among many others.

In 2004 he decided to publish his first solo album "Up Front". Since then he has continued to accumulate successes as artists during his next albums until his new release in 2020 "Ones Upon a Time" with collaborations among others of DW3, Euge Groove, Darren Rahn, Gregg Karukas, Greg Vail, Richard Elliot, Jeff Ryan and Rick. Braun.

Friday, August 14, 2020


From the album ‘Back to the Groove’

Label:  B2J

July 27, 2020

From an early age John Stewart has always had a love for music. As a teen he performed in various bands throughout South East Texas.

 Today as a husband and father of three and still inspired by his love for music, he spends his time writing and producing original smooth jazz compositions.

 In 2016, John began creating the concept for Groove Frequencies. Groove Frequencies would be “Smooth Jazz With A Groove” featuring accomplished instrumentalists on sax, guitar, piano and tenor bass.

 Since the release of “Imagine This”, the first Billboard charting single from the sophomore self-titled CD “Groove Frequencies”, the music has continued fill the smooth jazz airwaves. With the much anticipated third CD in 2019 “Back To The Groove” written and produced by John Stewart, new guest artists were featured. Jimmy Reid (sax), Clay Benjamin (guitar), Vince Wiley (keyboard), Jason Meekins (drums), Dawoud Said (Piano), Ryan Haynesworth (guitar) and Sherree Patrice (vocals) rounded out the lineup. Always looking ahead, John and Groove Frequencies are currently putting the finishing touches on tracks for their fourth CD "Grooves To Go" coming mid-2021. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2020


Label: Independent
November 11, 2019

Jacqine has gained notoriety as a prolific singer/songwriter/keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist/and arranger in a wide array of genres. With a distinct voice and influences that extend the gamut from Alison Moyet, Annie Lenox, Maysa, Lalah Hathaway, Lara Fabian, Phoebe Snow, to many other vocalists, she has built quite a music following. Talented on keyboards, she has a keen sense of choosing instrumental sounds that reflect an unequivocal unique combination of chord patterns for each song she creates.

 Her journey into music at a very young age began with her dad who introduced her to 1950’s and 1960’s records of Mama Cass and Edie Gorme as well as Debbie Boone, Barbra Streisand, and other artists and popular movies. She listened to Michael Jackson, Tavares, Cerrone, Chic, and a number of 1970’s classic groups.  Some of Jacqine's favorite music includes: Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kool and the Gang, Incognito, Ambrosia , Elton John, the Eagles, Shalimar, Shakatak, Phil Collins, Kansas, and Chicago. She creates complex harmonies, chord progressions, melodies and lyrics and creates and emulates other instruments on keyboards such as saxophone, guitar, flute, oboe, clarinet, strings, bass, brass which has led to demo recordings and live performances.

 She studied voice privately with Iris Marrus with Susan Windor (Jazz teacher at Mannace School of Music)as well as Jazz Improvisation in a group and where she learned traditional Jazz and very complex chord progressions with the creation of jazz melodies and chord progressions in anticipation of song development. She studied and sang pop music as well with a Pop and Jazz vocalist. Her introduction to Smooth Jazz began while hearing Peter White’s track Caravan of Dreams on the radio in addition to Pat Metheny’s music. She bought CD’s and a number of albums of various Smooth Jazz artists latest releases such as David Benoit, Tom Scott, David Sanborn, and Jonathan Butler.

 Jacqine became an avid listener and huge fan of the music, attending shows of Stanley Jordan, Richard Elliot, Brian Culbertson, and listening to additional Smooth Jazz radio stations as well. In a chance meeting, she was introduced to the dance genre after a producer heard her sing and she got her first production nonexclusive deal with a producer which led to doing more records non-exclusively with several producers, one of whom she was asked to co-write. She found success with a song she co-wrote that was licensed at the Cannes Film Festival in France in 13 countries and had the opportunity to work with Eric Kupper, remixer for Whitney Houston, Cher, Shakira, Alicia Keyes, Lenny Kravitz, Yoko, Ono, Donna Summer, Curtis Mayfield, and other artists. Additional remixers of songs Jacqine sang on were Danny Tenaglia, Angel Moraes, Hiroshi, Steve Travolta. Billboard Magazine, Dance Music Authority, Vybe Music magazine, and other magazines gave excellent reviews of her vocals and the songs he sang on. Jacqine was interviewed on Galaxy radio among many others.  She has graced audiences with her vocals while performing at several venues in New York City including The Jazz Center of New York, Nells, Jewel Box, and Café Gianluca. She has gained attention from the TV industry and some of the music is fit for the film score genre as well. Currently, with tons of radio play and music radio interviews, she has fans locally and abroad with music heard in over 40 countries and 35,000 listeners. Most recently, on a couple of songs,Jacqine recorded with Curtis McCain, Naomi Andriaanz, Donald Waugh, Scott Marvill, Matthias Beckmann, and Craig Levy of Little Pioneer Cider House. Craig did the drums on Jacqine’s song and Jacqine added extra drums on a couple of those songs.

"Flying with The Wind" is Jacqine's fantastic new single after joining forces with German trumpeter Matthias Beckmann. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


Label: Shanachie Entertainment

August 7, 2020 

On August 7, 2020, Shanachie Entertainment released Heart To Heart, Norman Brown’s 12th recording as a leader and third for the label. Shanachie Entertainment VP of Jazz A&R, Danny Weiss, states, “At the risk of being blasphemous, Norman is the true successor to Wes Montgomery and George Benson. Like them, he’s a jazz musician of the highest order, but you hardly notice because you’re having so much fun listening to him.” Heart To Heart is a gorgeous collection of originals composed by Brown and various album personnel, that fuse the best elements of Jazz, R&B, Pop, Blues and beyond. It is a soul-stirring and heart-warming journey fitting for this time of uncertainly. The introspective guitarist says, “We have been given the golden opportunity of having the Earth stop. We all have wanted to stop the grind and catch our breath, refresh our thoughts and learn something new. This halting of everything is really the silver lining and an opportunity to find our ‘Master Key’ to the rich quality this life blesses us to experience.”

 Heart to Heart is an all-star affair that affirms the adoration and respect that Norman Brown holds amongst his peers. Great bandleaders are like chemists. They go into the laboratory and utilize all the right elements in order achieve the desired outcome. It is knowledge and cooperation working in the highest order. With this dynamic in mind, Brown assembled an enviable collective of creative spirits to bring to life Heart To Heart. Brown’s special formula follows the golden rule. “What I do to you, I in turn do to myself,” explains Norman. “Let’s take care of each other through the acknowledgement that we must treat one another in joyful peace and with acts of giving unconditional love.” Heart To Heart joins Brown with guitarists Peter White and Paul Brown, keyboardists Jeff Lorber, Chris “Big Dog” Davis, Gregg Karukus, Phil Davis, Lew Laing and Jeff Carruthers, bassist Roberto Vally, Tres Gilbert, Lee Thornberg, Sean Michael Ray and Nate Kearny, drummers Lil’ John Roberts, Gary Novak, Sonny Emory and Teddy Campbell, saxophonists David Mann and Greg Vail and percussionist Lenny Castro. Brown shares that each individual played a significant role in bringing the album to fruition. “It was an honor and pleasure to be joined by all of these divine beings who nourished the music and brought the perfect seasoning to this album.”

 Heart to Heart opens with the recording’s first single “Heading Wes,” a tribute to Brown’s father as well as the iconic guitar hero Wes Montgomery, who transformed the language of guitar harmonically, melodically and technically. “My Dad loved Wes and inspired me to learn that style by allowing me to have the car on Saturday night if I learned his favorite Wes tunes like ‘Bumping On Sunset’ and ‘Down Here On The Ground,’ recalls Norman. “Frankly I would have learned them based on my own love of his playing. His technique, beautiful chord soloing and his signature octave expression was wonderfully original and innovative.” The intoxicating sway and melodic beauty of the album’s title track features fellow guitarist Peter White, who Brown refers to as “a joyously gentle journeyman.” Brown shifts gears for the euphoric up-tempo and smoking “Unconditional,” highlighting and penned by keyboardist Jeff Lorber whose energetic creativity Brown says is “perpetually gifting us timeless ideas.” Another standout on the album is the moving and devotional gem “Amen” co-written with hit making producers Vassel Bedford and Chris “Big Dog” Davis (who is featured on keys). Norman by the way returns the favor and appears on Davis’ new Shanachie release Focus.

 Heart To Heart showcases the genius and flair that has landed Norman Brown at the top of the charts time and time again on the finger snapping “Just Groovin.” Norman wrote the song with fellow guitarists Paul Brown and Jeff Caruthers, who both join him on the composition. The beautiful “Brighter My Light Shines,” co-written with keyboardist Phil Davis, is the perfect example of the timeless anthems Brown is known for. He wrote the latter with keyboardist Phil Davis who is also showcased on the memorable tune. The radiant grace and sweetness of this song kisses you every note. David Mann offers a gritty horn arrangement to the funky “She’s Mine” which shines a spotlight on Brown’s agile blues chops and sharp-witted hooks. Brown’s crisp articulation and funk-laced lines take center stage on “I Miss Your Groove,” offering another view of the blues that will have you saying “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!” Norman conjures up a dipping bronze sun, disappearing behind a crimson sunset while the salted air gently caress your cheeks on “Ocean Breeze,” co written by Jeff Lorber. The guitarist also urges us to “Keep The Faith” with the forward momentum groove of his stunning original. “Faith is the substance of things not yet seen but the evidence of things to come. Part of this energy aids in the law of attraction,” declares the guitarist. A reward to taking the journey on Heart To Heart is the surprise ethereal and rock-tinged track “Outside The Norm,” featuring the keys of Phil Davis and drums of Lil’ John Roberts. But then again, not a surprise from a man who can play it all!

 Watching his older brother play, Norman was stopped by the energy radiating from the musical sound of what he now calls his “Spirit Catcher,” the stings on his guitar. Waiting for his brother “Popsicle” to leave, Norman couldn’t wait to get his hands on his brother’s six string carefully stored in the closet. Influenced early on by Jimi Hendrix and the Isley Brothers, it was not long before Brown was drawn in by one of his father’s favorite guitarists, Wes Montgomery. A graduate of the Musician’s Institute in North Hollywood, where Brown would go on to teach, the guitarist landed his first deal, as the flagship artist debuting his career and launching Motown’s Mojazz label. In 1992, he recorded the albums Just Between Us, the Gold selling, Soul Train award winning After The Storm and Better Days Ahead. Having recorded a string of successful albums including 1999’s Celebration (in which he teamed up with Paul Brown), 2002’s Just Chillin’ (featuring vocalists Michael McDonald, Miki Howard and Chanté Moore) scored a Grammy win. The same year, Brown joined forces with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun forming the group BWB, recording their debut album Groovin’. In 2013 they released Human Nature, a tribute album to Michael Jackson, that was followed by their third collaboration BWB in 2016. Brown continued a trail of critically heralded albums including West Coast Coolin’ (2004), Stay With Me (2007), Sending My Love (2010) and Grammy nominated 24/7 with saxophonist Gerald Albright. 2017 saw the release of Norman Brown’s anticipated and well-received Shanachie debut, Let It Go and The Highest Act Of Love followed in 2019.

 Brown concludes, “Heart To Heart is the greatest power we can harness. This dialogue empowers each person in the entire world to win! It’s all about the power generated from learning the lessons of spiritual growth that helps us to achieve the goal of evolution which is the enjoyment of life.” Brown’s new recording is vital listening for our current times. Its message rings loud and clear and is a reminder that even though we may be “socially distance” we are indeed together and need one another now more than ever.

 Shanachie Entertainment