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Najee - Poetry In Motion

Posted by April Galenzoski on 2017/08/28

Najee’s name in Arabic means “safe, friendly and affectionate”. Born Jerome Najee Rasheed in Greenwich Village and raised in Jamaica, Queens the multi instrumentalist grew up with some of the best in the industry. Mentored by jazz greats Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath as well as flutist Harold Jones of the New York Philharmonic he eventually became a highly sought after musician working with greats Quincy Jones, Prince and Anita Baker. It’s been 30 years since producer/songwriter Barry Eastmond first hooked up with Najee and now they have collaborated on yet another fine recording featuring Maysa, guitarist Blake Aaron, Will Downing and Jean-Paul “Bluey” Maunick of Incognito on the lead off single “Let’s Take It Back”. A good up lifting track with Bluey’s famous bass lines blended with Najee’s tenor saxophone makes for a great hit single. Najee’s soprano is spotlighted on the first cut called “Stratosphere” for this post eclipse era with it’s funky rhythms and jammin' keys from Eastmond. “We’ll Be Missing You” is another fave featuring singer Will Downing who came up with the name of the album and they even dedicated this song to Al Jarreau and Prince who both passed away during the making of Poetry In Motion. Najee said “…both artists in their own way have changed the culture of music forever. Whenever I have worked with people of their caliber of artistry, I have always walked away with something that helps to shape my musical conversation.” When it came time to add a woman’s perspective to the songwriting he got singer Maysa to add her songwriting skills and heavenly vocals to “Don’t Make Me Wait”. Najee shared that Maysa Leak “...is my sister musically speaking, she is truly one of the best and most versatile vocalists in the music industry. Something with three’s I guess on this one - his three personality traits and his three instruments - soprano/tenor/flute make for a three stars out of 5!

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Reviewed by Gary James
Evening Announcer

 

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