Najee – Share My World (1994)

FrontCover1One of the best-selling instrumentalists of the late ’80s to mid-’90s, Najee has been a consistent favorite in the quiet storm and so-called “smooth jazz” markets. Often compared to Kenny G, George Howard, and Dave Koz, the New Yorker has been greatly influenced by Grover Washington Jr. — although he hasn’t been nearly as adventurous. Heavily produced and quite formulaic, Najee’s albums have tended to avoid improvisation and strive for commercial radio airplay above all else. Debuting in 1987 with Najee’s Theme, Najee was an immediate hit in the new adult contemporary (NAC) market. Similar pop/urban jazz dates like 1988’s Day by Day and 1990’s Tokyo Blue did nothing to jeopardize his niche on smooth jazz radio.

Onstage, Najee takes some risks and stretches out more. Morning Tenderness was released in 1998, followed by Love Songs (2000), Embrace (2003), My Point of View (2005), True Spirit (with John Grant, Victor Williams, and Dennis Chambers in 2006), Rising Sun (2007), and Mind Over Matter (2009). In 2012, Najee released his 14th studio album, The Smooth Side of Soul, featuring the track “First Kiss,” a collaboration with R&B vocalist Phil Perry. Najee returned in 2013 with The Morning After: A Musical Love Journey which included the song “Shinjuku,” a tribute to the late jazz keyboard legend George Duke. (by Alex Henderson)

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Well played typical set of Smooth Jazz with R&B vocals, nothing major here just good music for mellow moments. I actually find this one more playable than his 1990 album “Tokyo Blue” the production has improved greatly since then, the melodies are well-balanced. Since some songs can get boring at points my standouts are “Secret Admirer” “My Angel” If only “Laid Back” didn’t have that corny male hook then it woulda been a huge standout, how could they funk up a couldhave been great song, it was a fusion between Hip-Hop/R&B & Jazz which some call “Urban Jazz” which is an nice title IMO and “Broken Promises” is another nice one. Fans will enjoy this. (by Oldspice Evans)

And “I Didn’t Know (Instrumental) / Reprise “is one of the best smooth jazz compositions ever !

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Personnel:
Victor Bailey (bass)
Buz (vocals)
Robert Damper (keyboards, strings)
Bernard Davis (drums)
Fareed (guitar, synthesizer, programming, drums, percussion);
Bill Jacobs (vibraphone)
Pocket, D “Dirty Mugg” James (guitar)
Barry Johnson (bass, background vocals)
Morris Pleasure (keyboards, strings),
Najee (saxophone, various instruments)
Artie Reynolds (bass)
Richie Ruiz (percussion)
Alec Shantzis (keyboards)
Andrew Sherman (keyboards)
Bryan Tate (clavinet)
Issac Wiley Jr. (drums)
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background vocals:
Jerry Elcock – Christian – Armstead – Amanda Elliot – April Spikes – Lori Ann Velez – Angela Stribling – Ushanda Tiana Goldsboro

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Tracklist:
01. My Angel (Najee/Sherman/Fareed) 6.16
02. Laid Back (Christian) 4.51
03. Now That I’ve Found You (Pleasure) 6.53
04. Joy (Najee/Christian) 4.52
05. I Didn’t Know (Holmes/Basby) 5.53
06. Secret Admirer (Najee/Fareed) 4.59
07. (G) Street (Christian)  5:15
08. Broken Promises (Najee/Fareed) 5.11
09. Heart Like Mine (Christian) 6.37
10 Saleemah’s Dream (Najee) 2.00
11 Share My World (Sherman/Glannille/Najee/Fareed) 4.44
12. I Didn’t Know (Instrumental) / Reprise (Najee) 6.27

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