I have a new guitar hero and his name is Neil C. Young. His playing is the perfect mix of composition, finesse, and originality. I starting playing guitar when I was ten years old and grew up with the shredder crowd i.e. Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai. It wasn’t until my adulthood that I got into Jazz but I got a taste for it but through Neil I’ve found a new respect for it. He has a passion for the craft but what else was revealing in this interview was how laid back and open he is which shows in his music. Take a listen and see for yourself.
Neil’s new album “Ensemble” is set for release September 7th. Pre-order here.
About Neil C. Young:
A hugely talented writer and guitarist based in West Yorkshire, Neil C. Young – not to be confused with his well-known singer-songwriter namesake – is a specialist in instrumental jazz in the vein of George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny and John Scofield.
Revered by those who know the genre, Young has played all over the world, from the UK to Mexico, even Cuba, and is now ready to unveil a change of direction with new album ‘Encemble’. Having made his name as part of the Neil C. Young Trio, this album has seen Young widen his scope. Stringing together a collective of eight talented jazz musicians over the course of the album, the result is a compelling, complex but accessible brand of jazz music.
In a change from his normal writing technique, Neil C. Young built this album around melodies to create the harmony, in turn creating layers for the unconventional line-up of a baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bass guitar, trumpets, and two drum kits. The results are outstanding – a shining example of the much maligned jazz genre on crowd pleasing form.
With any justice, this album will be a release which allows Young to take his unique style to a wider audience than the existing jazz fan base. He’s already had some help on the quest, with mainstream aficionado Jamie Cullum including him as a recommended gig of the week on several occasions. He’s also worked with big names from jazz guitarists Gary Boyle and Pat McCarthy to, more surprisingly, progressive rock band The Earlies and Mercury Prize nominated singer-songwriter King Creosote.
It’s easy to see from his social feeds that Neil C. Young is unaffected by the growing hype surrounding his music. Witty and down to earth, he often pokes fun at himself and clearly enjoys simply making music. He is also fully aware of the raised eyebrows caused by his name – shared with one of the best loved songwriters in the world over the last five decades. The similarity has led to crossed wires on many occasions; in one case of mistaken identity, a festival promoter looking to book Neil C. Young received an e-mail from the agent of the other Neil Young, who claimed the jazz musician was an imposter.
So, just to make it clear – Neil C. Young, jazz musician, is ready for the September 7th release of his excellent new album ‘Encemble’.