Very few artists of the new generation of smooth jazz artists stir up the kind of promise, excitement and inspirational oomph that Jeff Ryan has since emerging into our musical consciousness and onto the charts in mid-2018. Committed to what he calls “a life’s pursuit of love through music,” the multi-talented saxophonist and composer proved prophetic titling his high-octane debut single “Up and Up” when the song quickly rose to #1 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Songs chart. His follow-up “Sweet Spot” enjoyed similar success, spending 18 weeks on the chart and peaking at #3.
These two funkified gems set the stage for us to experience an even deeper side of Jeff’s artistry with the release of his latest single Embrace, the instantly infectious title track from his debut album, also released in 2018. The song is a classic styled power ballad, all steamy late-night passion and flickering candlelight, full of searing, heartfelt poetry set to an ever-soaring sax. Jeff starts out all sensual and silky before letting loose with an infusion of ever-increasing emotional intensity. His next verse-chorus relay does the same seductive dance, only slightly more intense before the next soaring chorus.
Ryan has said that the title “Embrace” works on many different levels, starting with embracing his goal of being a genre artist that seemed inevitable from his first listen to Richard Elliot’s “Candlelight” when he was ten. As a point of comparison, Ryan’s intense simmer/sizzle tenor tone has similar tonal and emotional qualities to Elliot’s timeless sax voice and it’s engaging to listen as Ryan evolves beyond that foundational influence.
Just as his career was taking off, Ryan also stated that he wanted “there to be a mutual embrace between the audience and myself” because “a musical career is not possible without pure relatability.” He got listeners hooked on his style with two deep grooving tracks. Now he’s relating to them on a whole new level they will also quickly “Embrace.
The track features producer Greg Manning on keyboards and synth, Darrell Crooks on guitar and Eric Valentine on drums, and was mastered by Steve Hall. It was executive produced by Ryan and Woodward Avenue Records owner Mark Nordman.
Listen to the track here: https://open.spotify.com/album/7bljLOiLPMG0ZbVVduZfzb