of tenderness, saxophonist Najee is one of the most famous musicians
in the smooth jazz genre. Since his debut
album Najees Theme
(1986) he constantly released his music. Day By
Day (1988), Tokyo Blue (1990), Just An Illusion
(1992), Share My World (1994), Najee Plays Songs from the
Key of Life: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder (1995). Morning
Tenderness (1998), Embrace (2003), My Point Of View
(2005), Rising Sun (2007), Mind
Over Matter (2009) and now The
Smooth Side Of Soul (2012) are his further milestones.
The album offers ten tracks, produced by
Chris "Big Dog" Davis, Jeff Lorber and Darren Rahn, who are working
wonders in this business. Further musicians are singers Will Downing
and Phil Perry, Mel Brown and Seth Lee (bass), Mike Warren, John
Roberts and Bobby Colomby (drums), James Lloyd (piano), Keith
Robinson, Frank Selman and Michael Thompson (guitar). All best known
cats in the scene.
Chris "Big Dog" Davis already teamed up with Najee on his previous albums My Point Of View
and Rising Sun. He delivers funky bass, urban beat and the
complete sound environment for Najee's sax wizardry on Dis N' Dat.
Just To Fall In Love featuring the mesmerizing singer
Phil Perry starts with a infectious
disco beat. While the sax stays in the background Najee is absolutely
brilliant on flute.
Perfect Nites is just pure
melting sax and the groove is flowing perfectly. This song is the
first single on selected smooth jazz radio stations. Davis also penned
You Tube, a song with a great potential for the R&B charts.
Najee performs this song on his flute with great expressive force. The
emotional impact makes his interpretation vivid and vibrant.
The uplifting moments of In The Clouds infuses the room with
emphasized sounds. Lightness can be so jazzy. One Night In Soho
sets the contrast with a dark and urban performance. Can you feel the
vibrant life of central London? When poignancy melts with exotic on
Mari, then Najee's flute has its magic effect.
Strange ways Najee goes with Fu Fu She She. He takes the
melancholy feeling to his saxophone and merges it with urban funk. But
then he cheers it up with a smile again. We know Jeff Lorber as a
strong representative of the fusion jazz movement. First Kiss
reveals his ultra smooth side, obviously infected by Najee's soprano
sax performance. When Sound For Sore Ears sounds very straight
ahead for you, then this is quite understandable. Najee and James
Lloyd are swimming in Jimmy Heath's pool. A hard bop tune originally
released on Jimmy's album The Gap Sealer (1972).
Najee's new album The Smooth Side Of
Soul is like a fine grocery and general store of music. There's a
lot diversity to explore.