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Morning Tenderness
     

Morning Tenderness

by Najee
 
With an intervening Stevie Wonder Tribute and a several year delay involving a label shift from EMI to Verve, Morning Tenderness is Najee's first project of original tunes in nearly five years; despite a few tunes led by tenor and flute melodies, his focus is on the appealing attributes which launched and

Overview

With an intervening Stevie Wonder Tribute and a several year delay involving a label shift from EMI to Verve, Morning Tenderness is Najee's first project of original tunes in nearly five years; despite a few tunes led by tenor and flute melodies, his focus is on the appealing attributes which launched and then sustained his success - picture perfect light funk melodies and suave ballads, grooves ranging from slow seductions to bouncy dance rhythms and a keen ability to modulate the soprano from a high pitched squealing cry to a lower toned reflective declaration. Over the low key simmering bass throb of "All the Things (Your Man Won't Do)" and the gentler "Second Time Around," Najee introduces melodic statements in the lower voice, and then, often without warning, draws upon those sharp improvisational instincts and honks a flurry of higher tones as if to emphasize the main point. On poignant reflections like "Not a Day Goes By" and "Sapphire," Najee also displays his longtime mastery of wrapping his sax melodies around shadowy background vocal choruses - playful conversations which lead to the human voice trailing off and giving way to meditative improvisations which again draw upon the bop influence. One of the most memorable tunes is the percolating "Room to Breathe," which sounds as if a mellow minded Richard Elliot wandered into the room, did a little side stepping shuffle, and bumped heads with Tim Weisberg on the way out. Najee sells his flute abilities a bit short here by limiting the flute to the closing minute of the tune, then redeems our longing by devoting the entire brooding title cut to the soft graces of the instrument. It's almost as if he's time traveling with us, emphasizing his smooth jazz life for the most part but here and there allowing us glimpses into his serious minded past as a student of be-bop.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/03/1998
Label:
Verve Fontana
UPC:
0731455906226
catalogNumber:
559062

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Najee   Primary Artist,Flute,Keyboards,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Synthesizer Bass
Audrey Wheeler   Background Vocals
Sekou Bunch   Bass
Rachel Z   Keyboards
Freddie Fox   Guitar
James Manning   Bass
Nick Smith   Piano,Keyboards
Lori-Ann Velez   Background Vocals
Michael White   Drums
Gene Williams   Keyboards
Fareed   Guitar,Background Vocals
Jamal Rasheed   Children's Voices
Regis Branson   Piano,Vocals
Miss Jones   Vocals,Background Vocals
Victor Sien   Percussion
Dai Starr   Drums
Ty Causey   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Najee   Producer
Fareed   Producer
Nicky Lindeman   Artwork,Art Direction
Patricia Lie   Artwork,Art Direction
Craig Booker   drum programming

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