12 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

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Ratings and Reviews

windandwire

A new way to hear the sax - and a whole lot more!

I know some reviewers are extolling how well Native flutist Joseph L. Young has incorporated sax (which was his first instrument learned) into a new age music environment on Every Moment (seeing as how the instrument is more closely associated with the jazz and blues/rock genres). And it’s true, Young has found a way at melding the sax's sultry sensuality into a genre that typically is anything but that. However, what astounds me even more is the sheer abundance of talent (both composing and performing) on every track and the virtuosity exhibited in crafting an assortment of "new age" styles. Equally impressive is Young's layering of many new age (and some chill-out) instrumental sounds (via keyboards, I imagine). Each of the twelve tracks is simply gorgeous to listen to on headphones as the attention to detail in the placement of the keyboard textures, the rhythms, and all of it is so spot on in relation to the sax. This could not have been easy, yet he and his wife (Lenise Redding) produced the album themselves, and Young handled the engineering and mixing. The mastering was by Andy Mitran. Well, come on. If you have heard any of Mitran's own music, you know how good this album sounds already!

Young, of course, owns the sax on every track, but his assortment of synths and keyboards just blows me away. The rhythms and ambient/new age textures on the title track just knock my socks off. The energetic track pulses with a blend of tribal drum beats and an ethereal jazziness to the sax as well as multiple layers of keys. Romantic piano and lush synth pads underneath open the title track, an ode to love if there ever was one. The lead sax melody is embellished with a wistful bell-like tone and subtle female chorales. At this point (track 3) on my first playing, I was thinking "Geez, where is the fan base for this cat? This man can play!" Even without his soulful sax on each number, Every Moment would still be an amazing collection of electronic keyboard new age music, on a par with many albums from the genre's golden age (late '80s to early '90s, in my opinion). However, throw in his sax playing (such as the softly soaring work on this particular track), and as Neo would say, "Whoa!"

Young switches it up on "Twilight," a track on which the sax has a more overtly sensuous sound, and the gentle sexy rhythms ooze sensuality as well. On headphones, there is a lot going on here in the background which colors the depth of the song with an unexpected ambiance. I know I am repeating myself here, but Young's choices of which keyboard sounds to use here (and everywhere) is textbook. The hushed yet dramatic chorales mid-song are counterpointed by subtle bass beats, while later the metronome-ish rhythms bounce off of bell tones in a variety of pitches. "Once In A While" features a chill-out beat more prominently, but new age melodicism is present as well. How he manages to fuse these two elements, not to mention the innate jazziness of the sax, and craft music so suffused with both beauty and catchiness is so damned impressive. Young pairs his sax with his other instrumental love, Native flute, on the interestingly-titled "Vicariously Blue," and he carries it off with not just style but with ease. I love the refrain here which also features a church-like bell sound. Even more chill out influences surface on "Continuum," as well as some real sax riffing. This track likely will appeal more to those who do appreciate a great jazz lick, but I don’t think new age fans will feel alienated unless their sensibilities are tuned to an extraordinarily high anti-jazz bias.

I could sing the praises of every song on Every Moment, e.g. the vocal ballad "Letting Go," featuring singing and lyrics by Rona Yellow Robe (no mention of which tribe she belongs to but the lyrics are part Native American and part English), the funky and playful "Eleventh Hour," and the peaceful closing tune, "Evening Repose." I was unprepared for how great this album would be, even though I knew Joseph L. Young had a lot of talent after listening to his previous release, Ethereum. But after playing Every Moment more times than I can remember, I am reminded of a scene from the Richard Dreyfus/Amy Irving film, The Competition. Dreyfus' character is supposedly the master class pianist, with Irving the newcomer. When she knocks it out of the park at the titular international piano competition, he is forced to confront the fact that she is better than him. She tells him "You knew I could play!" to which he answers "Yes, but not like that." Well, folks, I knew Joseph L. Young could play, but not like this! Color me impressed and amazed.

CandiceMichelle1

Timeless, musing, imaginative space-jazz!

World-flute master and keyboardist Joseph L Young adds a soulfully refreshing element on his latest album, Every Moment, which follows his enchanting 2016 album, Ethereum. Having formerly played saxophone in the smooth jazz group Mobius Trip (that he co-founded), Joseph again pulls out his sax and gets creative on his latest album, which draws upon influences of jazz, new age and ambient/electronic music. Comprised of twelve compositions spanning approximately 62 minutes, sax is the lead instrument throughout, as Joseph adds synthesized layers and keyboards, gentle percussion and subtle world music touches along the way. Centered upon a theme of time, the compositions overall feel timeless, musing and imaginative. Guest musicians include world flutist Cornell Kinderknecht on “Time Traveler” and violist Lisa Bittick on “Chronos Dreams”.

“Prism” opens the album with a subtle rhythmic pulse that underscores a soothing sax melody accompanied by synthesized vocal layers. A whimsical touch of Irish whistle joins the piece about half-way through, as both earthily sensual and dreamily spacey textures are woven among what could essentially be described as the quintessential ‘space-jazz’ composition. The next piece, “Falling Through Time”, is easily my favorite on the album. True to its title, the composition seemingly bridges the past, present and future, while its dusky atmosphere simultaneously evokes images of mysterious ancient landscapes and modern city nightlife. Processed lyrical vocals lend the piece a subtle synth-pop flair amid a sensual ensemble of soulful sax, ambient textures and tribal-esque percussion.

Another one of my favorites is “Vicariously Blue”, which features sax alongside Native American flute within an echoing chamber of organic-style percussion and low-humming chords. Another especially outstanding composition is “Letting Go”, which initially opens with gentle spoken word courtesy of Rona Yellow Robe amid a subtle shamanic pulse. Her vocals soon extend to mantra-type singing, which pleasantly reminds me of the lovely Deva Premal. It’s followed by “Eleventh Hour”, a notably intriguing piece that’s somewhat set apart from the rest with its comparatively more digitized effects and crunchy, quasi-industrial beat.

Meeting at the crossroads of new age, ambient and contemporary instrumental music, Every Moment will certainly appeal to a variety of listeners. Particularly, it brings-to-mind the more romantic space-jazz music of Jonn Serrie (think Ixlandia, Lumia Nights or Spirit Keepers), as well as saxophonist Paul Winter, thereby recalling some great “new age” classics. A mesmerizing album sure to be among this year's favorites, every moment of Every Moment is certainly time well spent!

KathyPiano7

From MainlyPiano

"Every Moment" is the fifth album from multi-instrumentalist/composer Joseph L. Young, but is a first for me. Man, I really need to catch up here, because this album is AMAZING! Ultra-smooth for quiet, relaxing times, it is also packed with substance for those who want to really listen to their music (like me!). The lead instrument on most tracks is saxophone, but Young also plays keyboards, synths and a variety of flutes as well as supplying vocals in a few places. With influences from many cultures and music genres, this is an album that doesn’t fit neatly into any specific category except “really good!!!” There isn’t a weak track on this whole album (twelve pieces), and that doesn’t happen very often. I’m quite sure this will be one of my Favorite Albums of 2018.

Joseph L. Young grew up in Boise, Idaho and has been involved in music all of his life. He started playing saxophone in the sixth grade and began layering music on keyboards and synths a short time later. He released his first album, "Pathways," in 2004 and his 2016 album, "Ethereum," earned a number of prestigious awards and nominations. My guess would be that "Every Moment" will do just as well if not better. In addition to teaching and performing in flute gatherings and festivals throughout the US, Young regularly plays with Celtic-fusion, Latin-rock, and R&B groups - talk about versatility!

"Every Moment" opens with “Prism,” a dreamy piece with a gentle rhythm and silky-smooth sax. Young also plays a haunting tin whistle that is just perfect for this piece. (I’d like to see him play both instruments at the same time in concert!) “Falling Through Time” picks up the tempo a bit with a catchy rhythm behind the soulful sax. There are vocals in this piece, too, but they are somewhat in the background and serve as another colorful instrument. I really like this one! The title track is somewhat more ambient and atmospheric, velvety smooth and warm - gorgeous! The hypnotic “Twilight” soothes with a cooling, magical peacefulness that lets the cares of the day gently slip away. “Time Traveler” edges toward a very smooth jazz vibe and includes Cornell Kinderknecht on bansuri flute. “Vicariously Blue” (great title!) has a strong Native American flavor and is a duet for Native flute and sax plus percussion and other layered sounds. The flute and sax are both very earthy but in different ways, and make an enchanting duo - also a favorite. “Chronos Dreams” is warm and velvety and includes Lisa Bittick on viola - another soulful duo. “Letting Go” has a shimmering, ambient musical backdrop behind the lyrics and vocals written and performed by Rona Yellow Robe (the lyrics are translated in the liner notes of the CD). “Eleventh Hour” goes in a more intense direction with a sense of urgency that often sounds like a plea. Drums and percussion add a driving beat to the mix - also a favorite. “Evening Repose” has calming ocean sounds behind the languid sax and light keyboard, bringing this excellent album to a serene close.

"Every Moment" is an exceptional listening experience from the first note to the last, and I give it my highest recommendation!

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