Justin Young

Home For The Holidays

Saxophonist Justin Young treats fans to a delightful repertoire of holiday tunes fraught with smooth jazz grooves and contemporary candlelight pop on his recording Home For The Holidays. Bundled in luxuriating boughs of saxophone swirls and wreathe in attractive harmonic forms, Young refurbishes holiday classics like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Let It Snow,” “Silver Bells,” and “Little Drummer Boy” with a glistening shimmer that enhances the songs fireside luster. The music is tempered to complement intimate settings and family gatherings, and enliven the ambience of the holiday season.

The funky strut of the rhythmic grooves in “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Sleigh Ride” bodes nicely with the easy-going agility of Young’s saxophone puckers while he garbs “Jingle Bells” in festive R&B hooks laced with sleek urban-pop bling. The subdued settings of “Silver Bells” and “Let It Snow“ harvest a warm and cozy cottage-like ambience as tracks like “The Christmas Song” and “Silent Night” kindle a torchlight flicker that is conducive to intimate gatherings. Young plays to magnify the uplifting spirit of the holiday mood with a limberness that soothes the senses as he injects a swig of island-tinged grooves in “I‘ll Be Home For The Holidays” and pillars of loosely flexing dance beats along “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” His soul-inspired treatments on “This Christmas” display striking lifts and glides that show sensitivity to the melody as he shrouds the tune in feel-good vibrations.

Justin Young’s holiday offering is a boon of smoothly wreathed holiday jazz. Home For The Holidays celebrates the holiday season in boughs of shimmering instrumentation resonating a melodic luster. He fills the tunes with a great deal of content polishing every brush stroke and smoothening every curve to a harmonious incline. Young shows respect for the traditional phrasing of these tracks while injecting his own ideas into the mix, and modernizing holiday classics with contemporary cuts.

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Susan Frances