CARL COX is a US smooth jazz sax man who’s worked with some big names in the business, including Smokey Robinson. He’s also first choice sax man for Bluey when he tours the US with Incognito. Right now Carl’s gearing up to re-release his second solo long player – ‘Universal Language’.
“Re-release”? Well yes. The LP had a soft launch in April and three singles lifted from the set, ‘Breakin’ Away’, ‘Stickwidit’ and ‘Can’t Hurry Love’ won plenty of plays on the more savvy smooth jazz stations. Like much of the rest of the then 11 tracker, mainly produced and co-written by two-time Grammy nominee Chris “Big Dog” Davis), those tunes were bright, busy, slick and sophisticated grooves with a soulful undertow – classic sax-led smooth jazz, if you would, proving that the legacy of players like David Sanborn lives on!
Now here’s the thing – and proving what we already knew about music being a “universal language” we’re told that during the cruel Russian bombing of Ukraine, a Ukrainian citizen, simply known as Yuri found solace and comfort listening to Carl’s music on an old battered mobile phone. While the devestating bombs fell indiscriminately round the make shift shelters, Yuri took a chance and contacted the sax man via Facebook to tell him how much the music meant to him. Carl was humbled and moved; so, he decided to write a tune in a sort of homage to Yuri and the proud, beleagured Ukrainian nation. After completion he’s now added it to the album for this re-release. Cut in question is ’In Time Of Need’ and, as you’d except, it’s sonic template is very different to the rest of the album. It’s gentle, soothing and reflective with Carl taking to the soprano sax whose lines are echoed by acoustic guitar and sweet strings. To add extra appeal to the new iteration of the album, Carl and Davis crafted another new tune – a sensual romancer, ‘Be Mine’. Thus, this new updated version of ‘Universal Language’ is now a 13 tracker and is released on October 13th.