Jackiem Joyner – Main Street Beat

June 9, 2017

What a pleasure it has been for me to witness the growth of saxman Jackiem Joyner from his Babysoul debut to Lil Man Soul and through Evolve. Now, with Main Street Beat, his latest release that takes on a seriously funky attitude and draws on that classic Motown sound and experience, the solid saxman pushes his groove to yet another level of smooth.

The album, much inspired by fatherhood and his precious daughter Trinity, kicks the tenor of his music into another gear as he feeds off the energy and effervescence of his little pride and joy. He says of her, “Trinity was right there in the studio during a lot of the writing process. Her jumpy and bouncy upbeat little self is really reflected on this album.” I can only imagine. Who knows? With that kind of jubilant spunk, we may get to witness her as a high-profile artist/performer in her own right someday.

This album has all manner of funk, drive, and soul in it. From the finger-poppin’ up-tempo lead track “Main Street” with its snappy horn arrangement to that powerful Motown presence in the mid-tempo “Back to Motown,” a track that truly sings to you with an unforgettable melody and hook (definitely one of my faves), to the jammin’ cover of the Justin Timberlake groove “Can’t Stop the Feeling” (oh yeah, feel this one) to the mid-tempo melody-rich tribute to little Trinity called (what else?) “Trinity” (another of my faves) to the smooth and sassily funky mid-tempo “When You Smile” featuring guitar guru Nick Colionne to the outrageously funky “Southside Boulevard” (oh yeah, the roof is on fire!) and just on through the entire infectious album. Wait — I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the kickin’ cover of Bruno Mars’ “Treasure.” Truly a treasure indeed.

Joyner displays the full range of his musicianship and artistry as he takes on every instrument on the cooled-down, slow tempo, and sweeeet “Addicted,” a track bearing that special oomph Joyner puts in those slow melodious grooves that have always captured me and found their way onto my faves list.

To say this saxman has done it again is an understatement. His massive growth is, in and of itself, a work of art; a true form of musical poetry in motion. His little Trinity is undoubtedly proud of her daddy and, as she grows, will fully grasp the impact he has had on our smooth jazz world. Yep, you want this one — trust me. – Ronald Jackson