Iconic saxman/flautist/composer Najee is once again working his woodwind magic as he presents his latest stylishly soulful and jazzy release Poetry in Motion, an album that is actually, among other things, a finely honed homage to two other iconic entities– the late one-of-a-kind crooner Al Jarreau and the consummate musician, the late Prince.
Here on Poetry in Motion, the saxman includes the essence and character of these world-renowned artists and offers other slick, smooth, very textured and enticing tracks that lead you along the path that he has effortlessly traveled for more than three decades, dazzling and wooing fans with his trademark soul-appealing sound.
The sax giant collaborates with many of the who’s who for this album, including guitarists Bluey Maunick of Incognito and Blake Aaron, keyboardist/pianist Bobby Lyle, the incomparable vocalist Maysa (another Incognito mainstay), award-winning singer/songwriter Eric Roberson, and the vocal maestro himself, Will Downing.
Najee wastes no time setting the mood here and getting all listeners on board this love train, kicking it off with a smooth, foot-tapping, up-tempo track called “Stratosphere,” and stepping cleanly through this abundance of musical excellence, offering such moving tracks as the light, romantically swaying “Is It the Way” featuring Roberson on vocals, the satiny appeal and coolness of the light but finger-snappin’ “We’ll Be Missing You” featuring Downing’s tell-tale whispery vocals, the irresistible attraction of Maysa’s seductive delivery on “Don’t Make Me Wait,” the lilting, lightly buoyant jazz-smart title track, and others.
Staying on top of your musical game after having placed decades under your belt is no easy task, yet Najee treks through the years with such obvious love for the music that you know his drive to do so has no intention of letting up. He is exactly as this album title states: Poetry in Motion…perpetual motion. – Ronald Jackson
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