When Detroit Sounds Like This sat down with LaDarrel Johnson for an interview, one of the first things to happen was a show-and-tell about his instrument, custom made and engraved with his ‘Saxappeal’ emblem. A wealth of pride was evident on his face as he carefully handled his saxophone with loving attention and beamed with happiness as he talked about how it was made just for him. Johnson handles his alto saxophone in the same fashion in which he plays his music — with attention, pride, and a graceful passion.
Saxappeal does not exclusively work alone; his part in the local Detroit music group Collective Peace allows for him a place to collaborate with like-minded musicians to produce spirited jazz and soul as a multifaceted unit. Describing Collective Peace in our interview as “a nucleus . . . [members] can go out, record a solo project, then come back home and do a group project.” Saxappeal has received international recognition in the contemporary jazz world for his brand of “SaxSoul,” a mix of jazz, soul, hip-hop, and R&B.
You play it…and you can feel it [soul music].
Get to know more about Saxappeal and how Detroit, his experiences, and Lisa Simpson influenced him to produce the experimental, up-tempo style of sound you will hear in his performance at our Detroit Sounds Like This studio.