"I am always evolving" - the words of our next guest, the beloved Najee, will echo in your head as a reminder of what we ALL should resolve to do in 2014.
Born in New York City, Najee developed a love for Jazz early. He could hardly help it! He heard the music of Miles Davis and other Greats in his home - first in Greenwich Village, then Jamaica - where the streets offered more sounds that will infiltrtate his soul. And mark his passage for his life's mission.
His first inclinations were toward the flute and the TENOR saxophone - but his brother, Fareed, persuaded Najee to play Soprano. He definitely had inspirations: Coltrane, Parker, Lateef and Laws. The best of Sax and Flute. Those leanings would gain him favor at The New England Conservatory, where he studied with George Russell and Jaki Byard. Other mentors: Jazz giants Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath - plus Harold Jones of the New York Philharmonic.
In the early 80's, Chaka Khan gave Najee a job - and set the course in motion for an amazing career. 1986: what a way to start your recording history - call the project, "Najee's Theme." :-D Freddie Jackson was impressed - so were more who hired this artist of multiple talents - one of those key figures was Prince. Between 2001 and 2003, Najee was side-by-side with Pop's legendary star - and was featured on two of his albums.
The touring as leader or as sideman, the journeys to Africa, the rich experiences with other beloved artists with vision - like George Duke - have had an impact on the deliberately versatile Najee. He is an award-winning talent for a reason. His 15th studio album - second for Shanachie Entertainment - certainly drives that home! "The Morning After: A Musical Love Journey" - will be shared with you - as well as MORE good news from Najee - on 1/7/2014 :)
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