Jeff Young, Choose Your Own Unknown, 2016
Seems not so long ago I wrote about Jeff Young, but that was in fact an international release of an album out a few years before. And here is his fresh new album. Reading through the press info, one cannot help but be impressed with all the name dropping there; side man to Jackson Browne, Donald Fagen, Curtis Stigers, Bonnie Raitt and Sting. Guest like Kirk Fletcher and Michael (oh wow) Landau! A crew used to work for names like Tori Amos, John Mayer or Gov’t Mule… We must be in for a treat!
And you would be right with that guess. Young is a scene veteran and it shows in every aspect of his songwriting, the sound, and his performance as a keyboard player and a (very soulful) vocalist. Whether it is the East- meets West coast of The Beauty Of A Woman (based on words from Audrey Hepburn), the reggae cover of James Brown’s Cold Sweat, The Steely Dan typed blues in The Art Of Conversation, or what ever song out of the ten on offer here, this is class.
And where perfect produced music sometimes leads to clinical, heartless music, here that is not the case at all. This is warm and personal and invites you to play it repeatedly.
So another job well done, and another album that will be revisited from time to time. Comes recommended!