Best Jazz: Isaac Young Quartet
To say Isaac Young, a 25-year-old bandleader from New Britain, is just a jazz musician, or even just a saxophone player, isn't quite right. True, his groups — a Trio, a Quartet, a groove-jazz project called Puremotion and another called the Trio from Rio — improvise. And yes, tenor sax is Young's weapon of choice. (He also rocks a mean Rhodes piano and EWI, short for "electronic wind instrument.") If there's a conceptual thread running through his projects, however, it's rhythmic, not generic: they all groove. "If you can't dance to the music, why play it?" Young said. "If people don't get out of their chairs, what's the point?" Young's a Framingham, Mass. native and a classically trained pianist. He was playing jazz with his own band at 14. He was later a student at the University of Hartford's prestigious Jackie McLean Institute. "It was with a sense of hopeful optimism that I started pursuing the jazz thing," Young said. "Jackie McLean couldn't walk off a plane in Japan without paparazzi surrounding him... But [in America] there's been an interesting shift in priorities." Young's Quartet, with guitarist Jessie Combs, bassist Jon Dostou and drummer Stephen Cusano, frequents local joints like Hartford's La Paloma Sabanera and Hamden's Outer Space. But you might also catch Young in Manhattan, where he's making a name for himself. "You have to be able to play every style of music and to accept the rapid evolution of the music business," Young said. "EDM [electronic dance music], for example: is there a space for saxophone in that? No? Then make one."
Listen to the band:
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