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Just Chillin'

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Just Chillin'
Norman Brown, Just Chillin' album cover.jpg
Studio album by Norman Brown
Released July 2, 2002
Genre Smooth jazz[1]
Length 44:47
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Paul Brown
Norman Brown chronology
Celebration
(1999)
Just Chillin'
(2002)
West Coast Coolin'
(2004)

Just Chillin' is the fifth studio album by American guitarist and singer Norman Brown, released in July 2002 through Warner Bros. Records.[1] The album was produced by Paul Brown and features guest vocal performances by Miki Howard, Michael McDonald, Chanté Moore and Debi Nova. Guest instrumentalists include Rick Braun, percussionists Lenny Castro and Paulinho da Costa, Jerry Hey, Pino Palladino on bass, James Poyser, and Bill Reichenbach Jr. on trombone. The album contains six tracks written or co-written by Brown, a cover version of Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait Awhile" and three additional songs.

In the United States, Just Chillin' reached peak positions of number 198 on the Billboard 200, number two on Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, number six on the Top Heatseekers chart, number three on the Top Jazz Albums chart and number 50 on the Top R&B Albums chart. In 2003, the album earned Brown the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

Composition[edit]

Just Chillin', produced by Paul Brown,[2] contains ten tracks totaling approximately 45 minutes in length.[1] The album has a relaxed mood generated by Brown's "gentle riffs and chords",[3] a quality continued from his previous studio album Celebration (1999).[1][2] Tracks include "light grooving instrumentals" and "unhurried romantic forays" with vocals by Miki Howard, Michael McDonald, Chanté Moore and Debi Nova.[3] Backing vocals are supplied by Maya Azucena and Leela James.[1] According to Brown, these guest vocalists marked his "introduction to vocals".[2] Guest instrumentalists include: Rick Braun, percussionists Lenny Castro and Paulinho da Costa, Jerry Hey, Pino Palladino on bass, James Poyser, and Bill Reichenbach Jr. on trombone.[1]

"The Feeling I Get", "Just Chillin'", and the Latin-influenced "Dancing in the House", are all original compositions by Brown; the latter two are considered moderately upbeat.[3] "Night Drive", "Won't You Stay", and "In My Life" are also credited in part to Brown. "Night Drive", co-written by Phil Davis, contains a trumpet performance by Braun.[3] In addition to Brown, "Won't You Stay" was co-written by Vikter Duplaix and James Poyser; "In My Life" was co-written by Edwin Lugo.[1] The album also includes "Feeling the Way" (Derek Allen, Juanita Wynn), John Stoddart's "I Still Believe", a cover version of Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait Awhile" (Melanie Andrews, Jackson, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis), and Christopher Bolden's "Not Like You Do."[1]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]

Just Chillin' received less than favorable critical reception. Allmusic's Matt Collar awarded the album two out of five stars and noted his preference for Brown's 1994 studio album After the Storm. Collar thought that Brown incorporated too many programmed drums and "mid-tempo jams", producing more "urban and gritty" tracks than his other instrumental albums.[1] He compared "The Feeling I Get" to "instrumental Maxwell" and called Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait Awhile" a standout track which reflects Brown's "overall vision to turn jazz to pop and vice versa".[1] Chris Walker of JazzTimes also noted the album's laid-back pace ("almost too relaxed") and thought it lacked Brown's "trademark zestfulness".[3] Walker complimented the vocalists' performances, which produced a "pleasant, soulful aura", but felt they were "far removed" from Brown.[3] He wrote that "Just Chillin'" and "Dancing in the House" displayed Brown's acumen; Walker also complimented "Night Drive", in part because of Braun's trumpet performance, and considered "Let's Wait Awhile" the highlight of the album.[3] In 2003, the album earned Brown the Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.[4][5]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Feeling I Get" Norman Brown 4:51
2. "Just Chillin'" Brown 4:29
3. "Feeling the Way" Derek Allen, Juanita Wynn 4:17
4. "Night Drive" Brown, Phil Davis 4:07
5. "I Still Believe" John Stoddart 4:02
6. "Dancing in the House" Brown 4:23
7. "Let's Wait a While" Melanie Andrews, Janet Jackson, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis 4:39
8. "Won't You Stay" Brown, Vikter Duplaix, James Poyser 3:55
9. "In My Life" Brown, Edwin Lugo 5:28
10. "Not Like You Do" Christopher Bolden 4:36

Track listing adapted from Allmusic.[1]

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Allmusic.[1]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, Just Chillin' reached peak positions of number 198 on the Billboard 200, number two on Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart, number six on the Top Heatseekers chart, number three on the Top Jazz Albums chart and number 50 on the Top R&B Albums chart.[6][7] The album remained on the Billboard 200 for one week, the Top Jazz Albums chart for fifty weeks and the Top R&B Albums chart for eight weeks.[8] In 2003, Just Chillin' re-entered the Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart at number 22.[9] The May 31, 2003 issue of Billboard, which featured the annual "Jazz Spotlight" and covered jazz music between the December 7, 2002 and May 3, 2003 issues of the magazine, included the album at number eight on its list of the "Top Contemporary Jazz Albums".[10]

Chart (2002) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200 198
U.S. Top Contemporary Jazz Albums 2
U.S. Top Heatseekers 6
U.S. Top Jazz Albums 3
U.S. Top R&B Albums 50
Chart (2003) Peak
position
U.S. Top Contemporary Jazz Albums 22

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Collar, Matt. "Just Chillin'". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Fratallone, Stephen (October 2004). "Coolin' Out: Smooth Jazz Guitarist Norman Brown Goes From "Chillin'" To "Coolin'" On New CD". Jazz Connection Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Walker, Chris (October 2002). "Norman Brown: Just Chillin'". JazzTimes. Madavor Media. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  4. ^ "2003 Grammy Award Winners". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. February 25, 2003. p. 1. Retrieved October 18, 2010. 
  5. ^ "India.Arie, Nelly, B.B. King, Herbie Hancock Are Double-Grammy Winners". Jet. Johnson Publishing Company: 57. March 10, 2003. ISSN 0021-5996. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Just Chillin': Charts & Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Jazz Albums: Week of July 20, 2002". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Just Chillin' – Norman Brown: Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Top Contemporary Jazz Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 115 (20): 62. May 17, 2003. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Jazzin' Up the Charts". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 115 (22). May 31, 2003. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved June 29, 2012.