Najee, who has collaborated with iconic figures Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock and George Duke, will release his seventeenth album as a leader, Poetry In Motion, on August 25th. The anticipated CD is dedicated to two groundbreaking musicians who Najee has had the distinction of working with – Prince and Al Jarreau.
“Both artists in their own way have changed the culture of music forever,” shares the saxophonist. “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.” Poetry In Motion finds Najee nothing short of inspiration, as he calls upon a few all-star friends to create a dialogue well worth remembering. Najee’s fourth recording for Shanachie unites him with such dynamic musicians as Will Downing, Maysa, Eric Roberson, Bluey of Incognito, Barry Eastmond, Bobby Lyle, Blake Aaron and Randy Bowland.
His Eric Roberson-assisted collab titled “Is It The Way” is a smooth offering that goes down easily. Along with Najee’s saxophone prowess, Roberson adds his svelte vocals with lyrics about appreciating the love of his life. “Is it the way you look at me in the morning? /How you look so good when I’m still crusty and yawning? / Is it the way you’re the blanket keeping me so warm?” Roberson sings. “I think it all of it,” he concludes on the chorus.
“As a musician, there is always something new that I want to share with my audience,” admits Najee. “The ability to collaborate with different musicians and to continually find fresh approaches to my music is what keeps me inspired.” The multiple Grammy-Award nominated instrumentalist, composer and quadruple threat who is equally adept on soprano, tenor and alto saxophones and flute, recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as a recording artist.