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Album Review

While it was always a challenge to debut and market hot up-and-coming saxmen into the smooth jazz genre that often ran on the success of more established artists, Richard Elliot and Rick Braun — smoothie superstars and two of the owners of the indie label ARTizen Music Group — were dedicated to building their label beyond just their own projects. They started with Paul "Shilts" Weimar' excellent HeadBoppin in 2006, and in 2007 got behind the very funky and contemporary, sometimes hip and often retro but always super soulful Jackiem Joyner. Joyner came to the airwaves after amassing a great résumé for his mid-twenty-something age: playing with Marcus Johnson, Bobby Lyle and Jaared, co-headlining a 2004 with Ronnie Laws and Angela Bofill, and opening gigs for everyone from India.Arie to Boney James. His passionate playing on the thumpin', finger snapping title track gets the party going, while "Elevation" states his forward thinking purpose. Peter White's always lovely acoustic guitar graced Joyner's sensual, soprano led first single "Stay with Me Tonight." Smooth jazz radio was unfortunately anti-flute by the early 2000s, but Joyner figured out a brilliant way to incorporate his second instrument into the mix on five songs including the whimsical "To Love Again" and the fiery, brassy Latin explosion "Lola." Joyner was off and running after this exciting debut.


Born: 1980 in Norfolk, VA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Saxophonist, composer, and arranger Jackiem Joyner plays contemporary jazz influenced by his upbringing in the gospel church and love of contemporary R&B. Born in 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia, Joyner was first introduced to music by his bassist father, and later played drums backing the gospel choir in his church. In his teens, Joyner relocated with his family to Syracuse, New York, where he studied saxophone and played in the band. While in high school, Joyner competed in the NAACP's Afro-Academic,...
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Babysoul, Jackiem Joyner
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