Entertainment

Najee Enlists Will Downing, Others for New Album

“It simply started with Barry Eastman, a producer who has worked with Freddie Jackson and Anita Baker … I said, ‘Man we need to do something together.’ So he started sending me songs,” said multi-platinum selling contemporary saxophonist Najee about the making of his newest album release “Poetry in Motion” (Shanachie). “I called everyone else. I didn’t know they’d all show up!”

The others Grammy nominated Najee speaks of in the August 25, 2017 “Poetry in Motion” album release include vocalists Grammy winning Will Downing, Grammy nominated Maysa and Eric Roberson, along with guitarists Bluey Incognito (also a vocalist/producer), Randy Bowland and Blake Aaron, and in addition pianists Emmy winning Bobby Lyle and Eastman. The album ‘pays homage” to Prince and Al Jarreau.

“Will and I know each other before we were had solo careers as friends, he married a girl I went to school with,” Najee pointed out. When I asked him about having such prolific artists such as Will, Maysa, Bluey and Bobby on his album he said, “The challenge is making it your own. Each artist has a very strong identity. I come from a history of accompanying vocalists always playing behind strong vocalists — so you have to find your hole.”

Najee has played for Presidents Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela, with appearances on ‘The Tonight Show” and “Good Morning America.” The New York native is celebrating 30 years in the music business that began in the early 80s working for Chaka Khan.

“I’ve had many journeys along the way…experiences and memories. Life experiences have been very quick. My oldest just turned 40. I’ve been blessed…”

“Poetry in Motion” is Najee’s 17th solo album release, but his fourth Shanachie Entertainment project. In the past Najee has collaborated with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Brandy and George Duke. “Poetry in Motion” offers R&B, Jazz and Latin flavored selections. Learn more about Najee, his new release and tour dates by logging onto www.NajeeOfficial.com.

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