PRAISE FOR "ON THE LEVEL":
"Jef Kearns delivers heart and soul through his flute ... skillfully and beautifully performed, this CD is worthy of repeat play status."
-- Vonnie Woods, Honeysoul.com
“Jef Kearns’ debut album ‘On The Level’ is dispelling the myth that flute players can’t do urban jazz … it’s a hip, up to the minute, collection that oozes class … every one of the nine choice tunes offer ample opportunity for Kearns to display his considerable virtuosity, each shimmers with its own unique vibe.”
-- Smooth Jazz Therapy.com, CD Review
“When I hear the flute, I think of meadows, flowers, ponds and trees ... That perhaps explains why I still find the use of the flute in R&B and jazz to be so shocking. However, as Jef Kearns shows on his album On The Level, this juxtaposition can be shockingly effective.
Jef Kearns uses a variety of musical tempos to show that the flute is a versatile instrument. He is a creative soloist, but he does not overdo it, and is more than willing to work within a context that includes vocalist, poets and other musicians. On the Level is a recording that has its feet planted firmly in the woods and the hood. Recommended.”
–- Soul Tracks.com, Album Review
“What a unique, flute impresario! A special branded player chopped to the game of Urban Jazz … I'm talking about flautist Jef Kearns & his breakthrough triumph "On The Level" - a 9 track set of smoldering hot grooves, at the slow or fast paces, & executed enough to keep you at the headphone booth - listening.
Jef's cinnamon-sprinkled set of tunes was a pleasant surprise … a different approach to jazz overall from a soul music perspective … This CD should be checked out. (That means go get it!)”
-- Urban Music Scene.com
A new voice has entered the urban music scene: the flute. Jef Kearns, soul flautist, is transforming the reputation of the instrument from band geek to urban chic through his signature flute sounds and urban sense of style. Music listeners and industry alike are taking note.
Tom Coyne (mastering engineer for Michael Jackson, Ne-Yo, Sade, Beyonce, and countless others) says, “His compositions and beats are both really strong. Beautiful flute performance on really good quality pop music. Not only the smooth Jazz listeners, but also R&B music fans would enjoy his songs.”
Executive producer/programmer at CKLN, Carl Allen remarked to the flautist, “Jef, you have taken flute to a whole new level. You have made me a fan (of the flute), and that’s not easy do. In my 35 years in the biz I have heard a lot of players. You are the best, my friend.”
Jef Kearns grew up listening to the urban music radio stations broadcast out of Detroit and credits his selected career path to them. Even at the age of 10, Jef would learn R&B melodies and transpose hip hop lines and verse into the rhythms of his flute. “I’d spend hours in my room playing along with hip hop station 96.3FM,” Jef reveals, “and when I wasn’t playing I was listening intensely to what exactly was happening, musically.”
Consisting of all original tracks, Jef’s debut album On the Level unleashes a quiet storm of flute-focused R’n’B grooves that cross genres from modern soul to hip-hop to classic Motown. Of the album Jef says, “It is my mission to show people that flute that can be just as soulful and down-and-dirty as sax. These songs shed a whole new light on urban music and the flute’s place in it. It’s the flute album for people who think they don’t like flute. You’ve never heard it like this before.”