Queens New York born and Orangeburg, South Carolina raised multi-reed instrumentalist, composer and band leader Will Boyd makes a sizzling debut with the Will Boyd Music CD release of Live At The Red Piano Lounge
recorded at his adopted hometown of Knoxville Tennessee's premier jazzroom and scheduled for a February 2018 release!
It was as a youngster and living in the family home in Orangeburg that was filled with a wide range of music from The Isley Bros. and Manhattan Transfer to Dolly Parton and Mozart that Will first got his taste of music at large and planted the seed of desire for music!
Always a seeker Boyd soon discovered the music of Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, The Jacksons, Prince, James Brown, and Ray Charles. I listened to a lot of gospel as well including Yolanda Adams, and The Clark Sisters as my favorites"!
Boyd continues it was our mother who graduated from Jamaica High School of The Performing Arts in Queens, NY where Will was born, who lead me and my siblings into the arts. “I did music, my younger brother is a painter, and my little sister detoured and has become an accountant”!
Jazz became Will Boyd's focus at the end of his sophomore year in high school, when he played his first solo gig in the school big band. Thereafter other saxophonists caught Will's ear as Will reflects “watching Gerald Albright
's video covering Johnny Gill's big hit single My, My My" started it all for me. After that was Grover Washington Jr.
, Branford Marsalis
, James Carter
, Kenny Garrett
, Sonny Rollins
, John Coltrane
, Lester Young
, Sidney Bechet
and his two major influences, Maceo Parker
and Charlie Parker
While attending South Carolina State College, where another South Carolinian and saxophone master Houston Person
also attended, Will received his BA in Music Business and after his move to Knoxville, incidentally the birth state of the great Yusef Lateef
, Will received his master's degree in Jazz Studies at the University Of Tennessee and after becoming a major player on the Knoxville music scene Will knew it was time to document my own sound" and thankfully he did just that with Live At The Red Piano Lounge
The 9 tune live set features Will on soprano saxophone on the set opener G.W. Blues" with a short solo intro before he burst into a serious burning lead. Will is accompanied here by long time friends Keith (keyboards) and Kenneth Brown drums. Incidentally Will was mentored by their father pianist Donald Brown!
This leads right into track 2 titled Brown Family Get Down" where Keith leads off with one of his incredible, imaginative solo's, Kenneth shape shifts the groove all the while Will soars overtop!
On track 3, Shamena" my wife's middle name" Will shares, bringing forth steel pan maestro Jonathan Scales who adds yet another flavor to the Will Boyd sheet of sound and a unique counter to the soprano saxophone. It's very refreshing! With track 4 Waltz For Rena" the tenderness of Will's writing and playing is present. It might evoke a spirit similar to that of what Yusef Lateef would bring.
There are many musical highlights here and they continue with the rapid fire, lyrical playing of Will Boyd on track 5 Kujidon," the groove slides from the quick straight ahead to funky mode and Kenneth Brown locking it all in tightly on drums! Bassist John Hamar continues to run it down, or walk it down as the case may be here and tune after tune. There is no doubt these guys play together a lot as you can't get this tight and this good otherwise!
What an exquisite combination of steel pan and baritone saxophone on display on track 6 the spiritual Go Down Moses." The outer vision of Jonathan Scales is again front and center taking the instrument where it hasn't gone before! John Hamor is praying with the bass!
With another shift enters the voice of Kelle Jolly, Will's wife on Akane Smile" and her presence adds a certain brightness to the CD and as she sings when you've got a reason to smile something we all need to be reminded of!
Equally as delightful are her bluesy, New Orleans sounding vocals on the fun song or as Will Boyd reminds us the old folk song" Mama Don't Allow". A song bound to be a highlight to many radio stations playlist!
Last up is track 8, Kumiko" a tune that seems to allow all the musicians to sort of solo at once, with space for each others creativity! Will's wonderful melodies are very present here as is with all of his writing and playing!
With Will Boyd's Live At The Red Piano Lounge
as a testimony I'm sure you'll agree that the future of jazz is extremely bright and in good hands!
Visit the music world of Will Boyd at https://www.reverbnation.com/willboyd4