Canadian solo artist Jef Kearns is adding another dimension to the flute world with his transformative pieces that melds the sounds of R&B, hip hop, pop and jazz into instrumental works that really take the genre into a whole new level with his new EP release Jazzy AF.
Known for his covers, Kearns’ rendition of Warren G’s “Regulate” was featured in XXL Magazine’s “20 Covers of Hip-Hop Songs Using Instruments” and his cover of Kanye West’s “Slow Jamz” in Mashable’s “14 Bizarre Hip Hop Covers.”
Kearns’ interpretations of popular hip hop works isn’t his only defying moment. He also moves into more original compositions, bringing his own flavor to instrumental music. With his Youtube channel having exceeded 1.3 million views – the momentum is only growing. His discography includes two full-length albums Soulfisticated and On the Level, an EP called The Flute and eight stand-alone singles. Jazzy AF is his follow-up and is an exploration of Kearns’ more pop leanings layered with jazzy melodic nodes.
Jazzy AF makes way for “You Make Heaven,” where an atmospheric backdrop makes itself known right off the bat. Slowly the sounds of the flute eases in. The flute has a soulful voice of its own. It changes and fluxes with the ebb and flow of the beats, and I could really feel my mood being amplified by the flow of the instrument. With influences in electro, pop and jazz, what you get is a smooth listening experience that will really take you there. A quieter approach gets realized on “Nomadic.” Once the sound of the flute hits, the song becomes more vibrant and energized. A bit of a tribal feel could also be detected. Hip hop-inspired beats add a surprising vibe to “Perfect.” This track leans into more pop and R&B territory. As the flute comes in, Kearns showcases his agility and versatility as a flutist.
“Reverie” is the most pop-oriented track out of the bunch. The sounds are very infectious with catchy riffs and energized performances from Kearns. The tune felt catchy enough that I found myself humming along to the melody. The sounds of the flute mixed in with electro-pop beats is above all riveting on “NY Summer.” With sweeping hip hop notes, this is an expansive song. The instrumentals give a live aspect to the track that is refreshing. The sound of warbling synths sounds off on “Axel F.” The shooting arrays of electric nodes are very ‘80s-inspired with big bass-y elements. The synths give off a video-game feeling with chiptune elements.
As a flutist, Kearns melds his expertise with the instrument with the flow of electronic beats, atmospheric synths and pulsating rhythms. What comes across is a blend of sounds that creates a soundscape that listeners can easily get lost in. Not merely an instrumental album, Jazzy AF sees the artist mixing genres and creating a new sound. Kearns’ command of the instrument is unmistakable.
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