Saxman Brian Lenair’s love for music began at the age of eight in his home in the Washington DC area where he grew up. His most profound influence came from his dad, who also plays the saxophone. His first music instructor in junior high school, Bruce Tyler, also encouraged his love for music. Brian credits the works of jazz greats Grover Washington, Jr. and Stanley Turrentine for inspiring him to play as well.
Although Brian began his studies at the University of Maryland as an architect/interior designer, his love for music could not be contained. It wasn’t long before Brian formed his first band called 41/2 Hours. He remained with the group for four years as they established a name in the DC area.
Brian eventually left and in 1990 joined a new group called Spur of the Moment. As the frontman for the Washington DC-based band, they astounded audiences with their mixture of jazz and R&B sounds for over 15 years. During that time, Spur of the Moment recorded two CDs entitled Sporadic and Out of the Shadows, which greatly features Brian’s talent as a saxophonist and composer.
Despite the success of the group, Brian felt the need to move forward to pursue a solo career. In 2004, Brian cut his first CD entitled The Journey. Creating this CD gave Brian the opportunity to express his God-given gift as well as showcase his talent as an incredible saxophonist, producer, and songwriter. “I was fortunate enough to have a great deal of creative input on my first solo album,” says Lenair. “I wrote 9 tracks which allowed me to put my inner thoughts and feelings to music,”.
The first single, “Gone Ridin’” is a mixture of soft melodies and up-tempo grooves. “I am an avid bicyclist and this song came to me while I was riding one day. Cycling helps to clear my mind and get my creative juices flowing and that’s what I wanted to bring across in this song.” The title track “The Journey”, Brian’s personal favorite, expresses the experience he and his family had during his sister’s victorious battle over cancer. He also recorded another one of his all-time favorites “I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You Are Near)” originally recorded Michael McDonald.
Now for something new from a saxophonist who for the last ten years has been building his reputation on the local music scene in Washington DC. After a break of four years, Brian is again stepping center stage with the CD ‘Eye Of The Storm’ It was back in 2006 that his solo project ‘Inspirations Vol 1’ hit the streets to show off a decidedly spiritual side of his musical persona and although a seasonal offering, ‘A Saxy Christmas’, followed in 2008 it is with ‘Eye Of The Storm’ that Lenair has unlocked the undoubted flair he has for R & B tinged contemporary jazz.
Brian Lenair #16
Saxman Brian Lenair is my new entry this week with his tune "Silky Soul" and he is at #16 on the countdown for the week of February 15, 2020.
Why WRIP - Ripped Radio Smooth Jazz? Well, I love the music. For me, it is the perfect mix to drive by, to think by, to work by, to play by, and to chill by. It inspires, soothes, and quiets the soul. Enjoy! - Ronnie J.