Antoine Knight wants you to know one thing, he’s not just trying to talk the talk – he can really Walk Da Walk! That’s the soul inspiration and concept behind the Atlanta based saxophonist’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2004 debut project In The Red, which received airplay in over 50 cities. The new CD, Walk Da Walk, is in the urban contemporary jazz (with some unexpected stylistic twists) at its best, but it’s also the veteran musician’s motto for living a life of authenticity. Knight took several years to ensure that Walk Da Walk conveyed a very personal autobiographical journey. A deeply spiritual person and musician, Knight creates an inspiring yet melodic chronicle that serves as an engaging testimony of where he has been in his life. Born and raised in Pensacola, Florida, Antoine Knight began playing sax at age 11 and enjoyed a childhood filled with incredible sounds—starting with an 8-track tape his aunt had of Jr. Walker and continuing on through his dad’s John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley albums.
While Knight played sax throughout his school years, it was at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church where he performed with Jennifer Holiday, and Yolanda Adams. Since then he has shared the stage and played with Angela Bofill, Vesta, Miki Howard, Najee, Ronnie Laws, Kim Waters, and Marcus Johnson. Upon entering college at Florida A&M University he began focusing on two other disciplines; majoring in engineering and minoring in military science. Knight worked as an engineer and is presently in the U.S. Army Reserves, but his love for music brought him back to performing. “For me, Walk Da Walk, is a journey of my testimony that has never ended. I’ve been battle tested and will emerge stronger and ready for whatever lies ahead. We all have had testimonies and journeys that we’ve walked, and Walk Da Walk is my way of conveying my own experience through music.”
Knight is a versatile performer and musician, doing hundreds of private parties, weddings and corporate events. He also played in the house band for the Atlanta Falcons football team in the early 2000s, performing regularly for hundreds of VIPs. He has opened for Steve Oliver at the Suwanee Jazz Festival (Suwanee, Georgia) and appeared at the Atlanta Jazz Festival in 2007 and 2010; last year’s event also featured Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Miller and Stanley Clarke. Inspired by the sounds of Motown, Antoine plays with raw energy and is well known for his interaction with the audience. While promoting and performing his first CD “In the Red”, he received national recognition when it aired in over 50 cities across the country, which catapulted Antoine into becoming Atlanta’s first independent artist to get picked up by Radio One Broadcasting, on the station formerly known as WJZZ 107.5 FM.
Notable live performances
Suwanee Jazz Festival – Suwanee, GA
Atlanta Jazz Festival – Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Falcons, Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
Atlanta Wing Fest – Atlanta, GA
Jazz in The Park – Piedmont Park, GA
Walk Da Walk’s nine tracks can be enjoyed for their infectious charms, cool improvisations and deep urban grooves. But the source of each tune is the range of emotions Knight was going through during the years he was working on the project. He has turned life’s challenges into musical magic that people can identify with on so many levels. Walk Da Walk gets grooving into Knight’s powerful life journey with a blast of classic alto-driven funk and bluesy keyboard harmonies, highlighted by Rod Harris’ fiery electric guitar solo. Knight explains the inspiration behind the shuffle groove and easy laid-back retro-soul slow-jam “Too Cool” – “When I play, I wear shades that were given to me by a fellow musician who always tells me I’m ‘too cool’.”
“I Keep Forgettin’” is Knight’s take on Michael McDonald’s pop-soul classic which highlights the background vocals of Carla Finley and the crisp guitar solo by Eric Essix. The saxman shows off his ultra-romantic side on two lush soprano ballads; the soaring “Devotion With You”; and the swaying, slow burning “Our Day”—an elegant piece he wrote for his sister’s wedding. Vocalist Myrna Clayton is featured on the hypnotic and trippin’ “Time Waits For No One”, which combines piano and guitar accents behind doubled saxes and an edgy production vibe that includes quirky moments of static. Jazz purists will embrace the clever musical way Knight fuses both smooth and traditional jazz on “Smooth Jazz Gone Straight.” The tune is centered on a dual horn melody (Knight’s alto and Danny Harper’s trumpet) and a swinging upright bass groove by Joel Powell. Knight swings over to “real jazz” with a blistering solo that digs deep into the core of his rich artistry. After the graceful, melancholy moods of “Tears of Pain”, Knight closes the set with “We Fall Down,” a funky and atmospheric soul jazz take on the Donnie McClurkin gospel staple. It’s a way of introducing people in a subtle way to the spiritual side of Knight’s life. The title track of Walk Da Walk has been featured on the National Weather Channel and highly ranked by Atlanta radio station WCLK.
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