Into the Unknown
Joseph L Young
2022 / Joseph L Young
Review by Kathy Parsons
With his sixth full-length album, composer and multi-instrumentalist Joseph L Young takes us on a genre-defying multi-cultural musical journey Into the Unknown. It's been four years since his award-winning Every Moment, but it was definitely worth the wait! With two exceptions, Joseph composed all of the music and plays all of the instruments on all eleven tracks. The exceptions are a collaboration with pianist/composer Lynn Tredeau on one track and pu'ili sticks played by Troy Kesner on another. In addition to flutes, sax and keyboards, Joseph plays duduk, Vietnamese mouth harp and udu. Each piece on the album contains an element of mystery, myth, legend and/or fantasy, so there is a lot of variety in the music and instrumentation. Sometimes dark and mysterious and sometimes more buoyant and soaring, this is definitely one of the best albums of 2022! Into the Unknown is a journey worth taking many times, as each time will reveal something new!
You will undoubtedly notice that I'm not naming any specific favorites on this album - I really like them all! Into the Unknown begins with the title track, a very eclectic piece that includes voices, a variety of instruments (flutes, sax, keyboards, percussion, etc.) and an appearance by Troy Kesner on Hawaiian bamboo pu'ili sticks. Rhythmic and more than little bit intriguing, it's a great start and indicates that this is going to be one great adventure! "Remembrance of Time" is a collaboration with Joseph and fellow Idahoan Lynn Tredeau. Slow, dreamy and very graceful, the piece includes flutes, piano and voices - gorgeous! "Secrets of Stone" turns very haunting and mysterious with sax, a droning backdrop of tones and voices, and occasional bursts of percussion (hand drums, chimes, etc.). About half-way into the piece, it takes on a livelier, more Middle Eastern sound and a stronger rhythm. Fascinating! "Beyond the Horizon" takes us on a flight to outer space with a sense of excitement and anticipation. Keyboard, sax and a driving rhythm make this one of the lighter, fun tracks. "Between Worlds (remix)" is a new version of Joseph's 2019 single. Soulful flute, harp, strings, voices and light percussion are graceful and haunting on this very beautiful piece. "Transcendence" floats on air with a catchy drum beat, keyboard, sax and voices. The dark and mournful "The Forgotten" digs deep with a feeling of tragedy and loss. "Ancestral Crossings" juxtaposes Native American flutes and hand drums with flute and electronics to great effect and brings this outstanding album to a close. What a ride!!!
Into the Unknown is available in both CDs and downloads from Joseph's Bandcamp page. It is available for digital downloads and streaming from Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes as well as the various streaming sites. Don't miss this one!!!
July 5, 2022