JUSTIN YOUNG; Blue Soul (JustinTime Records)

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Justin Young is a Detroit smooth jazz sax man and he’s just released this – ‘Blue Soul’ – his fourth long player. The album’s title track highlights the set’s overall sound. The cut is a polite but solid soul-based groove. It boasts a catchy, memorable melody and is delivered with the slickness that the best smooth jazz is noted for. Given Young’s Motor city roots, it’s hardly surprising that the 12 tracker offers plenty more of the same – notably the current single ‘High Definition’, the almost funky ‘Nothin’ But Love’ and the intricate ‘Razzmajazz’.

The other major Smooth Jazz box that ‘Blue Soul’ ticks is “the Quiet Storm moment”. Best to these ears is the soulful meander that is ‘Jazz Along The 101’. Elsewhere tunes like ‘Paradise Found’ and ‘New Life’s stray into bland Kenny G territory. I guess it’s down to the twee soprano sax sound.

Surprisingly for what is a classic smooth jazz set there are no big Latin moments, no familiar covers and no vocals… one (or several) of any of those might have created a tad more interest… though as we’ve said this is classic smooth jazz – no gimmickry, no trickery, no demands; and for those who like to know these things, helping Justin deliver are sideman of the calibre of Jackiem Joyner, Sheldon Reynolds (ex EWF) and the late Ricky Lawson.

Justin Young’s ‘Blue Soul’ is released November 17th

(BB) 3/5