Saxophonist Justin Young Pours His Heart And Detroit Soul Into "Blue Soul"
Several years in the making plus nearly a full year of paving the way for a successful release by issuing a trio of infectious singles throughout 2017, saxophonist Justin Young finally dropped his fourth album, "Blue Soul, " on Friday. The JustnTime Records platter packs a two-fisted punch of potent pop, jazz and R&B hooks along with the heart and soul of Young's Detroit upbringing. The vibrant new single, "High Definition, " is presently impacting playlists nationally, adding powerful Billboard-reporting radio stations weekly. Enhancing the buzz are favorable record reviews and the announcement of a December 10 album release concert celebration at Columbia Winery near Seattle (Woodinville), Young's adopted hometown.
A hardworking hustler and a charismatic contender deservedly on the cusp of a major breakthrough in the smooth/contemporary jazz realm, Young grew up in Hitsville USA, the son of a musician father. Spending his formative years in close proximity to Motown became a major influence on how he makes music. He recorded "Blue Soul" live in the studio, collaborating with a talented team of first-call players and accomplished musicians, songwriters, producers and mix engineers, including fellow sax players and Billboard chart-toppers Jackiem Joyner and Darren Rahn, former Earth, Wind & Fire guitarist-vocalist Sheldon Reynolds, noted bassists Alex Al and Hussain Jiffry, and the late drummer to the stars, Ricky Lawson. Young plies his soprano, alto and tenor sax to a songbook that spans ebullient instrumental pop, deep R&B grooves with a sniff of Detroit funk, and unfettered jazz soloing. The dozen tracks on "Blue Soul" - originals with all but one co-written by Young - are slickly produced and thoughtfully textured, presenting readily-accessible melodies and lush harmonies. Bubbling with enthusiasm and positive energy, the saxman climbed the charts during the first quarter of the year with the undeniable "Always There." He cruised through summer by dropping "Jazz Along the 101." Radio outlets were recently serviced "High Definition" and the chart ascension has begun. The strength of the material on "Blue Soul" bodes to continue Young's momentum and magnify his growth well into the New Year.
Below are excerpts from some of the initial album reviews: "Saxophonist Justin Young's new album, Blue Soul, is a neat package… beautifully highlights the warmth and delicacy that comes flooding through…One of the neat things about Young's playing is the way he will toss time around. Playing on the offbeat in little staccato phrases one minute then effortlessly running a continuous smooth refrain over that same backbeat the next… Quality work from a quality artist." - The Smooth Jazz Ride "One of my top 3 albums of this year." - Exclusive Magazine
"The great attention to the smallest detail coupled with highest musicianship and the passion for quality…This album is a fresh approach to how smooth jazz has to sound nowadays." - Smooth Jazz Daily
"Catchy, memorable…delivered with the slickness that the best smooth jazz is noted for." - Soul and Jazz and Funk
"The smoking young sax man rounds the edges off his Detroit soul/jazz past and delivers a solid entertainment disc that serves up old school smooth jazz." - Midwest Record
"A fine smooth jazz album, and recommended for saxophone fans." - Keys & Chords
"Soulful smooth jazz." - Jazz Weekly