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Saxophonist Najee, the two-time Grammy nominee and a pioneer of the rhythm and jazz movement of the late '80s and '90s, continues to shed new light on the contemporary jazz scene with Rising Sun. Always the innovator, Najee blends various shades of straightahead as well as contemporary jazz, classic Ramp;B and even indie rock on this new ten-song set. The result is an album that's destined to appeal to established fans of his multi-layered groove as well as listeners who are meeting the artist for the first time. The idea was to try to do something a little different from before, says the New York native. But the challenge in that is to always stay true to my own creative identity at the same time. People who are familiar with me and my music have certain expectations, but I'm always looking for something that's going to make people say, 'Hey, this is a little different. This is something fresh.'Contributing to this fresh perspective is a coterie of talented songwriters and session players. Producer Chris Davis, who first teamed up with Najee on his previous Heads Up release, returns to the production helm on Rising Sun, and offers numerous songwriting credits as well. Najee also co-authors two tracks with labelmate and Pieces of a Dream keyboardist and songwriter extraordinaire James Lloyd. In addition, the saxophonist borrows a couple songs from the old school as well as the new one from veteran jazz flutist James Moody and another from reigning indie rock songwriter/guitarist John Mayer.