LOS ANGELES, CA (January 14, 2014) – Two-time Grammy Award Nominee and international renowned jazz saxophonist, flautist, composer and arranger, Najee, received his nomination by the NAACP Image Awards for “Outstanding Jazz Album” for his new album The Morning After – A Musical Love Journey released by Shanachie Entertainment on October 22, 2013, which debuted #1 Contemporary Jazz Album on the Billboard charts. The album is produced by Demonte Posey and features special appearances by R&B vocalist Meli’sa Morgan and jazz bassist Brian Bromberg. Considered a diverse contemporary jazz project by the legendary saxophonist, “The Morning After” has given fans an insight into Najee’s journey and global experiences in music. The 45th Annual NAACP Image awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors.
As one of the top-selling jazz saxophonist of our generation, Najee continues to demonstrate his consistency to connect with various audiences throughout the world. Creating music at this level in his career is still exhilarating, as he states, “I am always evolving. As a musician the love of performing for people whether in-studio or live, is still a gratifying experience.” These experiences is what has catapulted him to craft an album that represents a traditional jazz impression along with encompassing the standard “smooth jazz” feel. The full title, The Morning After – A Musical Love Journey (in short “The Morning After”) showcases an array of compositions including the hit single Champs Élysées, which is currently in heavy radio rotation around the world. This song is an up-tempo composition with a mixture of harmonic phrases that creates a storyline for his admiration for Paris. Another popular tune from the album is R&B hit In The Mood To Take It Slow, a sultry duet with vocalist Meli’sa Morgan. Najee along with his brother Fareed first worked with Meli’sa on tour with Chaka Khan. Najee later recorded the duet “Do You Still Love Me” with Meli’sa on her debut album in 1985. Najee declares, “I believe Meli’sa is one of our R&B treasures and I am grateful for our reunion on this project.” In addition, the album would be remiss without Najee paying homage to colleague and friend, the late George Duke. Najee wrote Shinjuku (a popular area in Tokyo) in honor of his friend; which tells the story of their previous tours in Asia together. “The Morning After” features musicians: Bill Sharpe on bass, Ray Fuller on guitar, Daniel Powell on drums, Brian Bromberg on acoustic bass and producer Demonte Posey on piano. The album is currently available on Najee’s website: www.najeemusic.com, iTunes and Amazon.com.
Winners for this year’s 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards will be voted by NAACP members and announced when the envelopes are opened on Friday, February 21st, during the Awards Ceremony for non-televised categories. The remaining categories will be announced live on stage during the two-hour show and will be nationally televised on TV One, Saturday, February 22nd, (9:00 p.m. ET/PT tape-delayed). For more information about the award show, please visit: www.naacpimageawards.net
An alumnus of the New England Conservatory of Music, Najee was mentored by jazz giants Frank Foster and Jimmy Heath as well as classical maven and flutist Harold Jones of the New York Philharmonic. When he emerged onto the scene with his soulful R&B, and jazz fused sound, with songs such as “Najee’s Theme,” “Sweet Love” and “Betcha Don’t Know,” it was not long before his trademark soprano found a home at the top of the charts and he carved out his own unique niche in the musical landscape.