November 14, 2022
Back in the 1990s when instrumental albums by saxophonists were vogue, Yishka refused to follow that trend. In recent years, however, he has shown his skill as a singer/musician on several albums.
He returns with Windy Day, released on November 11 by Upstairs Music. It contains 12 songs with six covers, including jazzy interpretations of The Melodians’ Little Nut Tree and Change the World, originally done by Eric Clapton and Babyface.
Yishka, a long-time South Florida resident, told the Jamaica Observer that a proper sax album requires several ingredients to make it right.
“To me, a good sax album has to do with the melodies. I try to make the melodies that I write interesting and different. The reason I think it’s important to have original songs is that is your voice, in this case, my voice, is how I conceive music not only with the melodies for the saxophone but also with songs that I write for voice,” he explained.
Windy Day’s original pieces include the title track and World Tour. He also covers Ken Boothe’s rocksteady classic The Train is Coming.
Although he was born in Jamaica, Yishka Greaves (his real name) spent most of his childhood in The Bahamas, where his father, bandleader Teddy Greaves, played the tourist circuit.
He developed his musical skills in his father’s band and by the time he returned to Jamaica at age 16, Yishka was a seasoned musician.
“My biggest influences in music are Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway. The person that inspired me to play the saxophone is Dean Fraser. I also like Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum,” he disclosed.
Fraser, Albright, and Whalum were just some of the saxophonists who released instrumental albums during the 1990s. During that era, Yishka was trying to establish himself as a singer/musician after a three-year stint with the famed Soul Syndicate Band.
His first album, A Song For You, was released in 2003, followed in 2012 by Trodding East. His previous album, Yishka, came out last year.
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