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Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman
Bill Binkelman is a long-time icon in the industry.
Other reviews from Binkelman's Corner by Bill Binkelman:
  Mosaic by David Wahler, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 8/8/2018
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  Songs of Changing Light by Kathryn Kaye, reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 7/8/2018
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Every Moment
By Joseph L Young
Label: Self-Released
Released 3/30/2018
Every Moment tracks
1. Prism  
2. Falling Through Time  
3. Every Moment  
4. Twilight  
5. Time Traveler  
6. Once In A While  
7. Vicariously Blue  
8. Continuum  
9. Chronos Dreams  
10. Letting Go  
11. Eleventh Hour  
12. Evening Repose  
JOSEPH L YOUNG - Every Moment
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.
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 5/7/2018
 
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