Posts Tagged ‘ Center Of The Heart ’

Najee – Center Of The Heart

What makes a musician to a legend? Is it fame or notoriety? Legends are musicians who have set new standards in their genre, who have significantly influenced their musical style and in particular other musicians. If these standards are applied, Najee can rightly be called a legend.

Center Of The Heart (2019) is Najee’s sign of continuous creativity and productivity after fifteen studio albums, two live albums and three compilations. Najee performs on his new album flute, soprano, alto and tenor sax. He works with Grecco Buratto, Ken Turner, Kenny Lattimore (vocals), Demonte Posey (keyboards, strings, bass synth, drums), Rohan Reid (bass and acoustic guitar), Darren Rahn (sax and Rhodes, programming, synth and bass), Allen Hinds, Darrell Crooks (guitars), Mell Brown, Alex Al (bass), Tarell Martin, Eric Valentine (drums), Greg Manning (keyboards, programming, synth bass), Anthony Saunders (background vocals), Superb and Harmoni Clawson (spoken words), Rod Bonner (Vocoder, keyboards, key bass, drum programming), Blair Bryant (bass, drums, bass synth), and Donald Hayes (horn arrangement).

The album opens with the vibrant Bella Vista featuring Najee on flute. Brazilian-born Grecco Buratto’s lively singing creates a Latin ambiance. Najee is an admirer of Darren Rahn’s treatment of the saxophone. He had already worked with him on the albums The Smooth Side Of Soul and Mind Over MatterFace To Face offers a new opportunity for collaboration. While Darren plays the saxes and some additional instruments, Najee shines on flute sharing the melody in equal parts with plenty of room for own presentation.

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Najee – Center Of The Heart

In a business where trends and artists come and go, Najee’s name is synonymous with innovation, consistency and the best in contemporary jazz. The visionary has enjoyed an enviable three-decade career by staying true to his own artistic vision.

“Throughout my career, I have enjoyed working with diverse musicians in so many different musical contexts,” confides the two-time Platinum-selling and four-time Gold-selling multi-instrumentalist. “All of these experiences live inside you and they come out in your music. Honestly, if I were not able to mix it up, I would be bored.”

Mentored by iconic saxmen Jimmy Heath and Frank Foster and flutist Harold Jones, the New England Conservatory of Music alum has worked with a who’s who list in music that includes Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Najee’s anticipated 18th new recording, Center Of The Heart, (Shanachie, November 15, 2019) showcases his technical agility, grace, compositional prowess, unbridled passion and fearless genre bending on ten thrilling tracks. Deftly wielding the soprano, flute, tenor and alto, Najee steers the ten-track excursion, showcasing moving originals, a hauntingly beautiful orchestration of a Bacharach/David classic, a sizzling reinvention of a Maxwell hit and unforgettable collaborations with singer Kenny Lattimore, pianist Greg Manning (Brian McKnight, Deniece Williams, Dave Koz, Jonathan Butler), saxophonist Darren Rahn (Wayman Tisdale, Toby Keith, Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber), and keyboardist/producer Demonte Posey (Eric Benet, Babyface, Toni Braxton). Continue reading