Norman Brown

After the Storm

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In the mid-'90s, Mojazz -- the contemporary jazz imprint of Motown -- was the place to turn for the best examples of the ways funk meets more creative improvisations. Norman Brown is one of the genre's brightest lights -- a George Benson type whose stirring fluidity makes magic with an edge Benson never had. Many of the tracks on After the Storm are formulaic, mid-tempo gems, but Brown adds zest to even the most typical groove with a lightning fast style that jumps off the disc. The Janet Jackson and Luther Vandross covers are fine, but better are more unique originals like "Trashman," "Take Me There," and others that use acoustic guitar and trumpet. As solid as this stuff gets.

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