Every band has a story and the Yaz Band’s story is wonderfully compelling. Their very humble beginnings should motivate any aspiring musician to keep plugging away. Yaz (Yasuyuki Takagi) is a tremendous, self-taught saxophonist who found an avenue to success by playing in New York’s subway stations. Many of you have probably seen talented groups and individuals performing in your own subway system. I certainly have. However, it’s especially refreshing to learn of their rise to this level of accomplishment. It was in a subway station that Eric Smith, now the keyboardist for the group, found Yaz and recruited him for a band with which he (Smith) was serving as musical director. To make a long story short, this later led to the formation of the Yaz Band, which by the way still graces the subway stations of New York’s metro area.
You Can’t Say It In Public is simply chock full of musical taste and masterful engineering, and it comes with an abundance of talent in every area, including songwriting. Both the smooth and funk elements are very prominent and obviously drove this project to be everything it could be. Everything about the album is about as tight as anything you’ve heard in this genre. The title and opening track sets the tone and character of this album and leaves you anxiously awaiting subsequent track after subsequent track, and no track disappoints. The band’s cover of Stevie Wonder’s "I Wish," one of three great covers offered here, is splendidly crafted (of course, only Stevie can offer the tune in that trademark Wonderful manner and the band clearly understands that as it doesn’t try to overreach here).
The Yaz Band: Melodic, romantically smooth, funky and very deserving of the attention it’ll surely get in spades once you experience their story, told here in You Can’t It In Public as only they can tell it. Either grab a copy of this strong piece of work or, if you’re traveling around the Big Apple, listen out for the magical groove being laid out by these guys at one of the many subway stations they visit. Talk about making your trip worthwhile!