Review – Justin Young Album Blue Soul

Justin Young’s latest release is called Blue Soul. This album has been three years in the making, and er think it was worth the wait.

Even though he is still one of the “Young” cats on the scene, his sax play will remind you of a veteran.

Darren Rahn is involved with mixing and production, so you know it will have superior sound. Jackiem Joyner lends his production talents to the project, and Sheldon Reynolds is also featured on the album.

Review – Justin Young Album Blue Soul

The set leads off with Always There. The sax is smooth, and even though there are no lyrics, it is actually inspirational in a way. The mid tempo groove will hook you immediately. Jackiem Joyner is also “there” as he takes care of the production. There is also some stellar acoustic guitar play from musician (and father) Jim Young.

You can check it out below.

Nothin’ But Love is next, and if it has a familiar feel to it, well you may be hearing the influence of Sheldon Reynolds. You know Sheldon, the former guitarist from Earth Wind & Fire? He co-wrote the track, and it is definitely three-and-a-half minutes of feel good music. The track also features the late Ricky Lawson on drums.

In Razzmajazz, Young displays some stellar sax play, which fits right in with the smooth jazz of today. I will call this a funk-light jam, as it is has all of the elements: nice keyboard play, great guitar fill-ins and an infectious beat.

Young slows the pace a little with Jazz Along The 101. I am not quite sure what he is referring to with the title, but being from California, the 101 is a major freeway in the state. I can definitely see myself listening to this as I drive that 45 mile trek from San Francisco to San Jose after a long night. Young gets a little sensual with the sax arrangement. There are two separate sax parts and they feed off of each other quite nicely.

Paradise Found is up next, and in addition to the smooth sax parts, listen for the Wah Wah Guitar. It is subtle, but it totally enhances the track once you know it is there. This is what a slow jam should sound like in 2017.

New Life is another song that is co-written by Jackiem Joyner. The keyboards and drums are courtesy of Matt Godina, who has worked with several heavyweights, including Julian Vaughn, Darren Rahn, and Brian Culbertson.

The title track is up next. Blue Soul is another mid-tempo groove with Soul….hence the title. This is one of those “live” songs that I am always talking about. Just imagine that groovy sax, that guitar fill, and those funky drum sounds coming out of those large speaker boxes…..I’ll wait. Noel Hall gives us some nice piano work here.

Up next is Sorrento. There is not too much to say about this one, except that I absolutely LOVE this groove. It is ironic that is the shortest song in the set. MAN….I want more of this! Do not fret. I am sure that Smooth Jazz radio will put this song in heavy rotation.

Another great smoothed out track is Sweet Release. Young’s sax just glides on top of the groove. I like a track that is free-flowing like this.

India and Song For A Better Tomorrow both showcase more of Young’s skills, and they are a great lead-in to the culmination of the set, High Definition. For me, it is always good to close on a high note, and this track fits the bill. You can see better in High Definition, and after listening to this 12-song set, you surely will agree that Justin Young will be around for many years to come.

Be sure to pick up the album, or listen to it on your favorite streaming service starting on November 17th.

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