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Norman Brown

Grammy Award-winning Contemporary Jazz/R&B superstar Norman Brown has sold close to 2 million albums in his extraordinary career and virtually lives at the top of the Billboard Contemporary Jazz sales and radio charts. Having shared the stage with virtually every Contemporary Jazz superstar from Boney James to Dave Koz to Gerald Albright

Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Norman Brown first picked up a guitar at the age of 8. First inspired by Jimi Hendrix, it was his father’s preference for the sound of Wes Montgomery that set Brown on his stylistic journey.

After high school, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his musical career, attending the Musician’s Institute, where he also taught for a short time. While playing with his own group in local clubs, and drawing comparisons to George Benson, Brown was discovered and signed to the fledgling MoJazz label, a division of Motown. He delivered his debut album, Just Between Us, and followed with the gold-certified After The Storm and Better Days Ahead.

With the critical acclaim and sales behind him, the talented musician made the leap to Warner Bros. and released Celebration, which first teamed him with producer Paul Brown. The follow-up, Just Chillin’, earned Brown much-deserved Grammy recognition in the best pop instrumental category. That project was followed by his release West Coast Cooin’, where Brown tested out his skills as a vocalist, a move that was embraced by the urban AC radio market and found him topping the charts.

In 2002, Brown debuted his smooth jazz supergroup with saxophonist Kirk Whalum and trumpeter Rick Braun, BWB, with the album Groovin’. He then returned to his solo work with 2004’s West Coast Coolin’, followed two years later by Stay with Me on the Peak label.

Brown’s audience has been expanding over the years. His compilation The Very Best Of Norman Brown was one of the best-selling smooth jazz albums of 2005 and 2006. Armed with the knowledge of who he is as an artist, Brown says he spent just four months in the studio making Stay With Me – his shortest recording time on a project ever.

Brown then signed with longtime jazz label Concord and released 2010’s Sending My Love. Two years later, he paired with saxophonist Gerald Albright for the Concord release 24/7. Also in 2013, he rejoined BWB for Human Nature. In 2016, Brown continued to split his time, releasing his third album with BWB.

Let It Go, Norman’s inspired debut album for Shanachie Records, has something for everyone, whether an R&B fan or a jazz aficionado. From “Holding You,” his sensuous collaboration with R&B great Chanté Moore and Norman’s re-imagining of the Five Stairsteps classic “Ooh Child” to the smoothly grooving “Remember Who You Are” and the serenely inspired “Let It Go,” Norman also featurs his daughers’ group Sisters of Unbreakable Love  on the insightful “Conversations” and uplifting “Living Your Destiny”. Let It Go is Norman Brown at his best.

Euge Groove

Euge Groove — a pseudonym for saxophone journeyman Steven Eugene Grove — began playing piano in the second grade and turned to the saxophone at the age of nine or ten. His teacher gave him a classical education on the instrument, which he continued at the University of Miami’s School of Music, where he became interested in jazz. Upon graduation, he initially remained in Miami doing sessions and playing in bands such as Expose, where he can be heard on the group’s 1987 number one single “Seasons Change.”

He then moved to Los Angeles and joined Tower of Power, remaining with the group for about four years. Following this experience, he freelanced, doing sessions and working in backup bands, his clients included Joe Cocker, Eurythmics, the Gap Band, Huey Lewis & the News, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Eros Ramazotti, and Richard Marx. His saxophone appeared on Marx’s Top 20 pop and number one AC hit “Keep Coming Back” in 1991.

At the end of the ’90s, Grove developed the persona of Euge Groove, a reworking of his real name, and recorded a demo that attracted the attention of various labels. This demo soon landed him with Warner Bros. Euge Groove, his debut album, was released in May 2000. At the time, the saxophonist was touring in Tina Turner’s backup band. He followed up with 2002’s Play Date, featuring the singles “Slam Dunk” and “Rewind.” In 2004, Grove moved to Narada for the ’70s pop-soul-inflected Livin’ Large. Grove stuck with the ’70s vibe for 2005’s Just Feels Right, and then incorporated a more gospel approach for 2007’s Born 2 Groove.

He moved to Shanachie for 2009’s Sunday Morning. In 2011, Grove returned with his seventh studio effort, the fittingly titled Seven Large on Shanachie, with two more releases following for the label, 2012’s House of Groove and 2014’s Got 2 B Groovin. In 2016 he delivered Still Euge, featuring guest appearances from Chuck Loeb, Peter White, and others. The similarly funky Groove On! followed on Shanachie in 2017.

Lindsey Webster

The earthy, charismatic and beautiful Lindsey Webster is a surprising and welcomed anomaly in the contemporary jazz world. The sultry and soulful young singer/composer, who has scored two Billboard #1’s on the Contemporary Jazz Chart, making her the first vocalist in the format to garner a #1 since the iconic Sade, is still amazed by her own success. “It is unbelievable that it is really happening” says Webster. “But now that it has, I feel like my world and career have opened up and that it is only the beginning!” Blessed with a honey-toned voice and enviable range, Webster’s uniquely identifiable sound is fueled by potent messages of love that are timely for today’s climate. Webster is holding her own in a largely male dominated genre comprised of artists who are much older than her and she is quickly becoming a favorite on the charts and international touring circuit. Her sophomore Shanachie recording, Love Inside, is about realizing the power that each of us possess as individuals.  “So frequently, we are looking outside of ourselves for the answers, when most of the time, we need to address what is within, first” states Webster. “I thought it to be an appropriate title for this album with all of the negativity and animosity that runs rampant in today’s world.” Through a tapestry of twelve evocative originals that fuse the best elements of R&B, jazz, pop and soul, Webster, along with her pianist and husband Keith Slattery, explore the world of love and loss in relationships as well as the love needed to unite and honor one another’s humanity.

Love Inside opens with the album’s title track and catchy first single. Webster sings and reminds us to “Take a moment to count your blessings…” The singer knows a thing or two about taking stock of all of the good that life has to offer. “The new songs are uplifting and positive which is just how I feel!” exclaims the singer. The pulsating “A Love Before” chronicles the trials and tribulations of finding true love. Webster confesses it is one of her favorite songs on the recording. “Bad Grammar (Me & You”) finds Lindsey pleading for another chance at love as she sings, “think about it for a minute more, before you walk out the door. Take a second just think it through, is this the end of me and you?” Slattery’s elegant and pirouetting solo adds a beautiful touch to this heart tugging last appeal for love.

The funk-fueled “Free To Be Me” touches on a topic that Lindsey Webster is passionate about. “This song is an anthem for anyone who is facing injustice in this world today,” states the singer/songwriter. “It was inspired by the subject of immigration that has been an issue at the forefront of our country, but the lyrics kind of morphed the song into something more. It states three things: the problem (people judging each other), how we all unwittingly can be a part of the problem (ignorance), and then offers what I believe will be a solution (our strength as a human race).

Another gem on Love Inside is the wistful bluesy ballad “Dream,” inspired by Dr. King’s infamous 1963 speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial.   “I, too, share Dr. King’s dream,” states Lindsey. “This song is about how I will try to live my own life today in order to make this dream a reality tomorrow.”

Love Inside also features “Don’t Give Up On Me,” which speaks to the fear of losing someone you love when you are at your weakest point, while the Latin-tinged “One Last Time” is about two people in love who must part ways in order to honor commitments in their lives. The interlude “Even If He Lied” shows what some people will put up with in order to be in a relationship and the blues ballad “Walk Away” is somewhat of an answer to “Even If He Lied,” offering a different alternative. We have all heard someone say “It’s Not You, It’s Me” but Webster in her typical clever fashion puts a new spin on the saying on her song of the same title. “Typically, a person says this to another during a breakup as a kind of consolation, not wanting the other person to think it is their own fault,” she shares. “In this song, the person who is being left is saying, ‘I know I’ve been acting crazy and I don’t blame you for leaving.’”

A highlight on Love Inside is the insatiable groove and positivity on “Opportunity” as Lindsey sings, “I feel things about to turn around for me cause I’ve been working for a long time ….Just when you think you had enough and you feel you’re gonna give up, that’s when life will turn around and you’ll see, in the problem is the opportunity.” The album closes with “By My Side,” which shines light on the strength gained by having the right person by your side.

“You know you are extra lucky when you find your true love and are then able to share not only your lives with one another, but your passion as well.” Lindsey and Keith married in 2016. “Keith is a blessing for me,” beams Lindsey. “We are always striving to become stronger and better songwriters, and as a team, I really think we have crafted some powerful and beautiful music.”

Webster concludes, “I hope our fans can hear the passion and hard work that went into writing these songs.  Although the times are changing and albums are becoming less popular than buying a single, we still like to think of the music we write as a collection. We arranged the songs in a specific order, as to tell a story and bring the listener on a journey.”

Growing up in an artist community, the daughter of loving hippie parents, in Woodstock NY, the allure of music was never far from Lindsey Webster. The singer grew up listening to her parent’s Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and Elvis Costello LPs and later the Supremes and Aretha Franklin. Influenced by everyone from Mariah Carey and Gwen Stefani to Steely Dan and Earth Wind and Fire, Webster once pursued medical school before finally settling on music. Webster made history in 2016 with her original “Fool Me Once”, which was the first vocally driven song to top the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts since Sade’s Soldier of Love in 2010, beating Sade’s three-week run at #1 with a four-week stay at the top of the chart with “Fool Me Once”. November 2016, Webster made her Shanachie debut with Back To Your Heart, which spawned three songs to make the Top 3 on Billboard (Back To Your Heart, Next To Me, and Where Do You Want To Go), with “Where Do You Want To Go” reaching #1, her second #1 in a year.