In the middle of Friday afternoon the notification came through that Joe Leader’s Healing The Heart album has gone live on all the digital platforms. The physical release of the CD will happen early in the New Year, but for now it is available pretty much everywhere on the internet where music may be found. If you fancy downloading a copy then you can find it on the Apple store, but if money is tight in the run up to Christmas then you can also hear the entire album on Spotify.

I have been working on this album with Joe pretty much since the start of the project, co-writing some of the tracks, arranging, transcribing, directing and a few other things besides, and we recorded it over two sessions this year and last with players from the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall, Mosaic Chamber Choir, and various other musicians as well, including a band and a timpanist.

Joe describes the style of the music as ‘cinematic sax’ and I would have to agree with him that the album is ‘widescreen’, partially because of the sound of the whole thing, but also because each track began life as a song with lyrics and was then carefully recast as an instrumental piece with sax solo. There is therefore an emotional journey within each song, and also behind the album as a whole.

You’ll also hear that Joe is an absolutely spectacular player, equally capable of gentle and shimmering tones as he is of virtuoso pyrotechnics. After several years as the touring saxophonist for Italian rock legend Eros Ramazzotti Joe certainly knows his stuff, but he also works unbelievably hard on his technique and has an astonishing focus on detail, and it is hard to listen to some bits of the album without having certain discussions – always intense, always fair – pop straight back into my mind.

So there we go, pop on over and have a listen – the Apple link has a preview option – see what you think and please pass on the details to anybody who you feel might be interested. Joe already has ideas for what might be next, but for now we are enjoying the feeling of having this album finally out there for people to experience.