JACKIEM JOYNER; Main Street Beat (Artistry)

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‘Main Street Beat’ is Jackiem Joyner’s sixth album and it takes off where his last set, 2014’s ‘Evolve’ finished; that’s to say the new eleven tracker continues to deliver classic, sax-led smooth jazz – polished, glossily produced soul-based grooves. Sample it at its classiest on the opening two cuts – ‘Main Street’ and ‘Back To Motown’. Both are easily accessible (as the best smooth jazz should be) and make no demands on the listener… and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are times to be bombarded with cerebral music challenges and equally times when you deserve to just let the music flow over and around you.

Enjoy more of the same on ‘When You Smile’ and the atmospheric ‘Trinity’ – a tune for the sax man’s first child – her presence represented by sweet acoustic guitar from Steve Oliver. Jackiem’s funkier side is represented by ‘Southside Boulevard’ and ‘Get Down Street’ –both with big bass lines courtesy of Daryl Williams. Then if you like things mellower try ‘Don’t Make Her Wait’ though the LP’s other big slow passage, ‘Addicted’ veers to the funereal…. Joyner, by the way, plays all the instruments on this one.

‘Main Street Beats’ boasts two covers too – Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ and Bruno Mars’ ‘Treasure’. The former is bright and brash with a relaxed, minimal vocal from Gabe Roland that weaves in and out Joyner’s sax lines; the latter is big and brash too and again it’s Gabe Roland at the mic.

Jackiem Joyner’s ‘Main Street Beats’ is out now and you can learn more @www.jackiemjoyner.com

(BB) 3/5