Justin-Lee Schultz ‘Just In The Moment’ Album Preview

If you listen to no other new jazz release this year, this is the one. Justin-Lee Schultz is more than a star in the making; with this album Just In The Moment he has truly arrived.

This press release was provided to Vivascene by Shanachie Entertainment

“My heart’s desire is to spread peace, love, positivity, and unity through my music and to be an inspiration to my generation,” declares 16-year-old multi-instrumental prodigy Justin-Lee Schultz. It is no wonder the South African born, LA based musician has prompted both Quincy Jones and Harry Connick Jr. to rave “This kid is something special” and Robert Glasper to exclaim “Justin is an older man in a boy’s body!! It’s so great to see somebody so young have such a vast love of ALL kinds of music!! He sounds amazing.” Down Beat Magazine declared Justin’s “Unique brilliance is undeniable.”

Jazz has long attracted young and insanely talented musicians. Tony Williams was a mere 17 when he joined Miles Davis’ ground-breaking and seminal quintet. Indonesian born pianist Joey Alexander made his auspicious recording debut at eleven, vocal sensation Samara Joy, 23, is currently riding high from multiple Grammy wins including ‘Best New Artist’ and the dynamic duo Domi & Beck (ages 23 and 20 respectively), continue to wow audiences following their recent NPR Tiny Desk and The Tonight Show performances. All these distinctive musicians have travelled their own paths but have searched for what Rahsaan Roland Kirk once called “your mystery note on the universal piano of life.”

For Justin, the pursuit for his eternal musical quest began as a toddler when he began playing with his father and bassist Julius and drum playing sister (four years his senior), Jamie-Leigh. The threesome even appeared on America’s Most Talented Family. “Music takes me to my happy place,” says Justin. “As soon as I start playing or listening to my favorite artists, any bad emotions fade away. I don’t see myself doing anything else other than music for the rest of my life.”

On September 1, 2023, Justin-Lee Schultz will release his second solo album on Shanachie Entertainment, Just In The Moment. As the title suggests, the awe-inspiring multi-instrumentalist has arrived and his latest musical statement is imbued with soul, fire, and passion, asserting that he is one of the most talented young musicians to emerge in years.

“There are so many remarkable things about Justin – his virtuosity, his youth, his genius…But above all it’s the depth, the joy, the beauty; and those inner qualities that make Justin so unique and wonderful,” states Shanachie Entertainment VP of Jazz A&R, Danny Weiss. Just In The Moment showcases all but one original and is produced by Grammy-winning guitarist Paul Brown. It features Grammy-winning pianist/producer Robert Glasper who is heard in the intro to the lone cover on the album, Eddie Harris’ 1960s hit, “Freedom Jazz Dance.” Grammy-winning saxophonist Dave Koz, who Justin will tour with this winter as part of his blockbuster star-studded Christmas Tour, as well as Grammy nominated saxophonist Richard Elliot, also make appearances on two album tracks. “I have a good relationship with all of them,” says Justin. “We speak often and it’s always fun playing or jamming with them!”

ust In The Moment opens to the sound of Robert Glasper’s voice leaving a message urging his ‘little bro’ to take on a version of Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance.” Justin takes heed and delivers a funky head-noddin’ affair featuring his flight of fancy on keys, vocals, horns, bass, lead and rhythm guitar. His sister Jamie holds it down on the drums and on most of the album. “I first heard ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ when my piano teacher (Jeremy Siskind) gave me an assignment to learn it back in 2017, after that I never played it again until my big bro Robert Glasper suggested I do an arrangement of ‘Freedom Jazz Dance’ with the talk box.” “In the Moment” is a stunning mood-drenched number with a sweeping melody and pulsating groove that showcases Justin’s technical prowess in a joyful fashion. Dave Koz joins Justin for Justin’s composition “Fellowship.” Their sympatico relationship is evidenced on the track. “When I wrote the songs “Daybreak,” “Moonshine” and “Oasis,” explains Justin. “I was trying to express the way I was feeling. I hope it brings joy to whoever listens to these songs.” Justin takes his time with the simmering and funky “Daybreak” which shines a light on his ability to transport you with his harmonic wizardry, while “Moonshine” and “Oasis” (which features drum programming from Glasper’s son Riley), illuminates Justin’s adoration for R&B. “I have been listing to Anderson. Paak’s album Ventura. That album has been on repeat for me recently. Also, An Evening With Silk Sonic, D’Angelo’s album Voodoo and Robert Glasper’s Black Radio IIIand of course, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson’s entire discography,” muses Justin. “I’ve been listening to a lot to Talking Book and Off The Wall!

Justin and Jamie go to work and do some heavy lifting on “A Timeless Dream.” Justin says the following of his best friend and sister, “She’s the homie, Jamie’s my go to person when I first write a song or get an idea because she’s so honest and I trust her opinion on things. It’s great to be able to create with her because we’ve been playing together for over 10 years, we just get each other and can feed off each other’s energy.” Always a proponent of positivity, Justin-Lee Schultz stirs inspiration on his composition “Overcome” while the up-tempo romp “Downtime” unites him with the horns of Ron King and Greg Vail. You might be wondering what a 16-year-old who’s in the woodshed most of his waking hours and playing regularly with musicians nearly three times his age does on his downtime. “I love to play video games in my downtime, playing Spiderman or the occasional Mario Kart tournaments,” confides Justin. “But, even during my downtime, I’m always playing something (playing guitar while watching TV etc.) it’s hard to switch my brain off when there are always ideas coming in at any given moment!” They say that there’s a gift in remaining present and Just In The Moment rewards us from beginning to end. The joyous affair concludes with Justin’s smooth cruising “Switching Lanes,” featuring Richard Elliot. One thing is for sure, Justin-Lee Schutlz, has found his lane and is fast- tracking all the way into the horizon.

Just In The Moment is a follow up to Justin’s recording debut Gruv Kid released in 2020. The album debuted at #1 in iTunes Jazz and hit Top 10 on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Charts, making him the youngest musician to ever chart. In 2022 he collaborated with his sister Jamie and bassist Jaden Baker in the trio J3 called Opus 1. With the anticipated release of Just In The Moment, the sky is the limit for Justin-Lee Schultz. “Music has the power to bring people together. I’m always thankful when people come up to me and express their appreciation for what I do not only in Jazz but for all other genres. For me, improvisational music is freedom of expression.”

Vivascene Staff

Vivascene Staff members work with media agencies, recording companies, and artists to present music news and press releases. Email: contact@vivascene.com

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