Saxophonist Horace Alexander Young lets listeners enjoy the creamy textures of smooth R&B and moonlight jazz on his latest release Contemporary Jazz. From the moment you push the play button, the music engulfs you, activating your higher senses as Young’s luxuriating atmospherics and soothing esthetics wash over you. Young has a few tunes with inspirational sails, a few that launch an upbeat dancefloor tempo, and other numbers which overflow with soulful funk reminiscent of vintage Teddy Pendergrass and Luther Vandross. Young’s album is not just for jazz lovers and R&B audiences, but it has songs that reach world music arenas. Whether the music is laid-back and lounging for listeners or prompts their bodies to move to its infectious grooves, Young’s melodic scoops are exhilarating and have R&B bearings that deliver a sweet ride.
The conciliatory aura emanating from Young’s saxophone twitters scrolling across Luther Vandross’ tune "Dance With My Father," are axle on shocks that administer a soothing applique, and it is Young’s kids, Victoria and Alexander who chime in at the ending with "I love you Daddy." Young has such a grip on creating creamy filled harmonies that it makes it seem like a comfortable place to cradle your head in its lap. The romantic ambience of "Heart’s Desire" is inviting producing sprays of mollified saxophone spears and pacifying bass notes bowed elegantly. Young maintains an elegant stance with the gospel-splendor of the organ keys opening "Joan-Capetown Flower," which imbue the tune with a spiritual sheen as the saxophone curls draw out long lines and swiftly rolling notes chasing up and down the melodic scale. The soft bellow of Andre Wayward’s trombone is prevalent in "Chicken ‘n’ Waffles" as the instruments gather around the low timbres installing emotive jumps and skids that produce a jazz mix ambushed in disco strobes, which are diametrical to the creamy phrasing and lounging tempo of "Find Your Love."
The seraphic sounding strings opening "Let’s Lounge" leap into channels of soft funk grooves and smooth R&B modulations, which segue into the celebratory dancefloor rhythms of "Glory To His Name," fumed in lacy saxophone twirls and bustling piano keys as delicately tucked sound effects sweeten the melodic pattern. The smooth fluid R&B lines of "That Kind Of Girl" features the soulful register of Brent Carter and the candlelight atmospherics of "So Special" is gently ribbed in lush piano keys played by Skip Nallia. Young plays the flute welding dance-funk grooves along "One Of A Kind," which are shingled by bubbly shangri-la horns, while the cozy saxophone glides of "Danny Boy" are framed in lullaby coasting bagpipes beautifully performed by EJ Jones.
Young’s tunes have a smooth idling sprinkled in warm glistening tones, which produce a soothing R&B/jazz ambience for the listener. From candlelight soirees to dancefloor grooves, Horace Alexander Young takes audiences on a sweet ride that they won’t want to end. Young has become an astute musician, composer and bandleader. He has recorded and/or performed with the likes of B.B. King, Freddy Fender, Toots Thielemans, and Regina Belle to name a few, and has played on stages around the world from jazz festivals in London and Hamburg to Houston and Seattle in the US. Young’s music glows with beauty and shows a craftsmanship that holds audiences in awe of its melodically banked brooks.