Najee started his career as a sideman of Chaka Khan in 1983.Through his association with Melisa Morgan who was a background vocalist for Chaka Khan, Najee met Charles Huggins, who initiated his first album Najees Theme (1986).  Day By Day (1988) was his sophomore album which found immediately the way into my collection.

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) were the following albums. Rising Sun (2007) is the second album which will be released on Heads Up International.

John Mayer penned the first track called Clarity. Guitarist Mayer wrote this song for his third album Heavier Things (2003). Although the melody is simple, the tune has a classy intro and especially the echoes make this song astonishing attractive. John Grant has the right hand on electric and acoustic guitar, while Najee guides us through the melody line like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

Chris "Big Dog" Davis is a genius composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist. He already worked with one half of the musical world, and the other half would like to follow. To let him produce your album is like a win in the lottery. He already teamed up with Najee on his previous album My Point Of View. Brazilian Affair is his new creation. A sophisticated bossa nova tune, perfectly arranged and performed.

On Child At Heart Najee performs the flute, giving the tune a smoother attitude. Co-writer and pianist of this song is Phil Davis, whose production firm PhD Productions is well established in the music world. Al Jarreau, Norman Brown, Boney James, Alex Bugnon, Walter Beasley and many others are his clients. His solo projects Cape Coast and Jordan are available at CDBaby. Najee opens the door to the magic world of flute. Brilliant!

Can't Wait Another Minute by Chris Davis is featuring singer Timmy Maia and Iassac Clemon. I recommend Timmy Maia's second album My Heart Belongs To You (2005), which is available at CDBaby. He is also  member of the band Bock And Blue together with Jay Lowe. A heartfelt soulish crooner.

Come What May has an awesome interaction between a chorus line of sax (Tony Watson Jr.) and Najee's lead sax. Friends of POAD will love James Lloyd's bridge on the Fender Rhodes. James co-wrote the tune with Najee.

On Out Of A Dream Najee performs on alto saxophone, usually he prefers soprano sax. Jeff Antoniuk (tenor sax) creates together with Andy Kushner (trumpet, flugelhorn) a vivid horn background. James Lloyd was working with Najee in his studio, but nothing was really come together. Najee recalls: "I was about to leave, and he was going through a CD of stuff he'd recorded, just to see what was on it. I heard this fragment of a song that really hit me. He told me it was something that had come to him when he was sleeping one night. He got up in the middle of the night, recorded it, went back to bed and completely forget about it."

Sax and flute player James Moody is best known for his song Moody's Mood For Love, an improvisation based on I'm in the Mood for Love. Najee’s cover of this tune resulted from a chance encounter in a woodwind store in New York City. “I was inside the store just trying out some flutes. He heard me playing in the upper level of the store, and he came upstairs and said, ‘Man, how do you get that sound?’ He started asking me all kinds of questions. It was really kind of flattering. We had our picture taken together, the whole bit.” Smooth jazz meets hard bop. Excellent.

Still In Love is build on a compact rhythm section and a repetitive loop feeding the energy for Najee's melody.

Romance The Night is featuring Phil Perry, a tune in the style of Adult Soul. Phil Perry has just released a new album called A Mighty Love. Phil Perry needs no introduction; he is one of the most renowned crooners of R&B and Smooth Jazz love songs. Famous for his #1 R&B single “Call Me,” his lead vocals with Foreplay and the Benoit/Freeman project and his distinctive background vocals with the likes of Anita Baker, Barbra Streisand, Patti LaBelle, Quincy Jones and many others, Phil Perry ranks among the best of the best.

Smooth Sailing is flirting with a classic theme mixed up to a contemporary potpourri.

The spiritual title song Rising Sun catches the moment of early morning with a Spanish flavored acoustic guitar and Najee's intimate flute.

Najee is the mellow romantic side of smooth jazz, authentic.








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  • Title: Rising Sun
    Artist: Najee
    Year: 2007
    Length: 0:47:45
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Heads Up

    01 Clarity [4:23]
    02 Brazilian Affair [4:14]
    03 Child At Heart [4:15]
    04 Can't Wait Another Minute [4:12]
    05 Come What May [4:49]
    06 Out Of A Dream [4:55]
    07 Moody's Mood For Love [4:53]
    08 Still In Love [4:15]
    09 Romance The Night [4:07]
    10 Smooth Sailing [3:34]
    11 Rising Sun [4:08]