The folks over at ARTizen Music Group seem pretty stoked about newcomer Jackiem Joyner and his debut album, Babysoul. And with good reason. With this release, 26-year-old, Joyner steps out of his busy role as sideman to Marcus Johnson and Bobby Lyle on to center stage. Babysoul contains eleven tracks - ten original tracks written by Joyner, and features guest appearances by Rick Braun on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Peter White on acoustic guitar on the first radio single, “Stay With Me Tonight.” And Jackiem Joyner isn’t “just another sax player” – there are five tracks where he plays/programs everything you hear.
Kicking things off is a little light R&B with a positive feel on “This Time Around,” followed by the radio friendly gentle soprano sax/acoustic guitar track, “Stay With Me Tonight.”
The funky and playful title track features David Dyson on bass, and “Just Groove” features Rick Braun as the trumpet section and Jackiem on everything else. “In Love Again” has a nice slow dance feel and features Jackiem on flute and saxes.
The next two tracks let the sax do what it does best – sing the song. “Say Yes” is a very mellow, slow groove with a soulful, yearning sax that is actually quite addictive, and “Share My Tears” is a beautifully melodic ballad.
Next up is “Lola” with its fun “sax/flute section” that backs up this Latin-feeling, mid-tempo track; and the slow groove oriented “Unforgiven.” There’s a slight Chill flavor in “Elevation” which has David Dyson holding down the bottom line and showcases Jackiem’s flute talents. The slow, soulful R&B sound on “Innocence” closes out the album.
“The most important thing I can do to succeed long term as an artist is to continue to work towards becoming a great musician by practicing, and making sure I keep aware of the kind of music the audience wants to hear,” says Jackiem. “I’m still a baby in this business, but adulthood is just around the corner.”
Babysoul is a noteworthy start.
- Elizabeth Ware