“And make a joyful noise unto the Lord. . .” Will Boyd, you make me enthusiastic about listening to new music again. Not since the advent of Anthony Hamilton or Bruno Mars, have we experienced such an eclectic combination of Black music styles wrapped up into the Soul Jazz sound. SOULFUL NOISE is a musical rapture into the sounds Will loves the most: Blues, Gospel, and Jazz. Spending some time on the Chitlin’ (Chitterling) Circuit, has allowed Will Boyd to wittingly marinate such flavorful sounds into this tasty stew we have right here. Starting with dots and dashes of Tabasco and funk—Hard Bop, Straight Ahead and Swing skillfully makes its way into this soulful ingredient, in a sly way that Will Boyd could. This is definitely new innovative stuff, but if we had a time-capsule that could transport Will’s contribution back to the days of Jazz Masters like Coltrane, Yusef Lateef, Art Blakey and McCoy Tyner; Will Boyd’s SOULFUL NOISE would have been viewed as a futuristic piece which would fit in with nicely with the things the Masters were doing at the time; with the sense of its’ own progressive flair. This quartet of studious heavy hitters is definitely making its’ rounds as a ‘young gun’ on the come up for sure. Will Boyd’s use of Woodwinds is very impressive. Boyd’s selection CHARIS had me locked and loaded from the start; strapped into the chair—as it were; for the adventure. . . Just pure magic. There are very few albums where a person is captivated from the first composition to the last…but this one is definitely it. Boyd’s use of various woodwind instruments puts flutter, airiness and a spacious feeling to Jazz. In CHARIS Will’s use of the flute, delivers a spatial relationship to the quartet in this composition whilst still providing a traditional Jazz sound. The sound of butterflies and romantic rapture is evident in this arrangement. HIS EYES IS ON THE SPARROW is a spiritual interlude on soprano sax of Will’s dexterity and devotion which is not overly-stated, but appreciated, Leading into the SPARROW POSTLUDE featuring Will Boyd on soprano sax, with the rest of the group as a soulful, Straight-Ahead excursion on an up-tempo cue—landing you back into a jubilant, spiritual sound. LOW COUNTRY LULLABY delivers a Trane-like journey with Will leading the way on oboe/alto flute, with a bass-walk keeping stride; blowing out funk, aided by sophisticated keys on a spiraling flight and thunderous crashes on drums. You can get wisped-away by that flute. A very tasty tune indeed. I was wondering when I as going to get hit with that Funky-Blues style that only Soul can bring—MOORE DIRTY BLUES sets it off in a Jazz way; with Will bringing it on tenor sax. COMING DOWN makes no excuse for what it’s doing—it’s just a Funky way of delivering the Blues; with a fresh approach to Spoken Word element in Jazz. That flute is provocative, but the drums are “on the one” and the tune is swinging! Talking about excursions for our folks, FUNGII MAMA has an African Calypso, Trinidadian sound and feel, peppered with dashes on soprano sax and a banging rhythm section that makes you want to get up and move your feet…limbo baby! Whereas TANGO FOR BARB AND JANICE is an adventure into Tango, a music and dance recognized in Uruguay, where Big Bands and Jazz orchestras courted European immigrants—but originating from African Candombe and Cuban Habanera. . . But Will Boyd takes it elsewhere with modern Jazz embellishments, signature and tempo changes; supercharging the composition…intriguing! We take a stroll with MR. MAC by means of a soulful bass-walk accompanied by a funky Blues-boogie with Will Boyd on baritone sax, with his stops and starts; giving us quite an excursion. We have the devotion spiritual of STEAL AWAY – noteworthy of mentioning; along with BEAUFORD DELANEY, which is a brilliant blowing of hues on a delicate dance. A musical delight. Will Boyd and the quartet are an accomplished group of current Jazz musicians, disciplined with knowledge and awareness of modern Jazz developments equipped with a knowledge of Jazz’s past. Their innovative approach combines the two skillfully and seamlessly; similar to the past developments of the MJQ (Modern Jazz Quartet). Outstanding stuff! Soul music, a variant of the Blues, is some penetrating heart-felt, soul-stirring stuff. It as had its’ lasting effect on Gospel/Spiritual music as evidenced on the legendary Sam Cooke and incomparable Mahalia Jackson. Jazz, America’s only true Classical music art-form, was birthed out of America’s social conditions upon people of color. Soul-Jazz is that classical interpretation brilliantly delivered by Will Boyd and company on this note-worthy accomplishment SOULFUL NOISE.” - C Beerlahairoi Myers


Tennessee-based Will Boyd’s Soulful Noise is a stunning collection of jazz, blues, and instrumental ballads by the same trio he led for his acclaimed 2019 disc, Freedom, Soul, Jazz. Both discs were produced by the Donald Brown, a Southern jazz pianist who was part of the great Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers from 1981 to 1982 before devoting himself to academia. Whatever the reason, Boyd’s work is as mesmerizing as it is infectious. It’s not so much that his trio is off to the races on any one song, but the arrangements are pretty hip and the execution is flawless. This is not a disc that grinds along. It’s lively, but it’s also inspirational and hard to put down. Boyd, a member of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, does an amazing job as bandleader on several wind instruments, including flute, alto flute, clarinet, oboe, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone. Pianist Taber Gable, bassist Darryl Hall, and drummer Kenneth Brown thrown down some amazing solos to complement Boyd’s work, forming a tight unit that has some obvious comfort and communication among one another musically. The hour-long, 11-piece disc is mostly a combination of traditional songs and ones that Boyd wrote, each with a modern jazz and blues vibe and a spiritual influence at times, too. Soulful Noise is only Boyd’s third album. Expect a lot of more great music from him in the coming years. ” - Tom Henry

Toledo Blade

On a variety of woodwinds, Will Boyd conjures up sonic images of Coltranesque tones and jazz roots with a team of Taber Gable/p, Darryl Hall/b and Kenneth Brown/dr. Boyd starts things off with a solo soprano recitative of the spiritual “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” and stays sanctified when he preaches from the tenor sax on “Moore Dirty Blues”. Impulse-era modal brings out the Tyner in Gable with Boyd searing on “Beauford Delaney” while mixing it up with oboe and alto flute on the cascading “Low Country Lullabye”. The team bops with Boyd on bari during “Mr. Mac”, while on clarinet he’s heartfelt on the Sunday morning recitative “Steal Away. Brown drives the team hard on “Fungii Mama”, and saunters across the floor on the sleek “Tango For Barb and Janice”. Timeless tales.” - George W. Harris

Jazz Weekly

Flutes in jazz and soul/jazz are back in full force here. Four cats, playing almost like a benediction, deliver a thought provoking sound that makes you sit up and listen. Solid work that comes at your from another direction and catches you appropriately unawares.” - Chris Spector


Saxophonist, composer and band leader Will Boyd pays tribute to spirituals, hymns, and freedom songs on his album, Freedom, Soul, Jazz. The project was released to coincide with Juneteenth celebrations, which are holidays observed among Black communities as a de facto independence day commemorating the abolition of slavery and a first step toward inclusion in the greater American dream. Regarding his motivation for the project, Boyd explained, “I wanted to do my part to move the movement forward,” referring to the advancement of Black people in a post slavery society. Accompanying Boyd, who contributed the majority of the woodwinds, is his wife Kelle Jolly on vocals along with an all-star group of musicians including Gregory Tardy on tenor sax, Bobby Lyle on organ and piano, Larry Vincent and David Bivens on guitar, David Becher on bass, and Kenneth Brown and Kevin Krapf on drums and percussion. The ensemble delivers incredible jazz and blues interpretations of songs affiliated with the Civil Rights Movement including “Keep Your Hand on the Plow,” “We Shall Overcome” and “Every Time I Feel the Spirit.” Two of Boyd’s originals include “August Eighth,” which is emancipation day for East Tennessee (Boyd’s current home), and “June Teenth.” Both works provide beautiful jazz illustrations of these days of observance. One can hope that Boyd’s originals become standards due to their role in recognizing these important days in history where Black people began to gain their freedom and humanity in the United States of America. As Boyd states, “Sadly there isn’t much (enough) music written to commemorate these important times in American history, and I wanted to do my part in keeping the stories alive.” Freedom, Soul, Jazz does just that, providing a new soundtrack for these African American celebrations while also re-energizing spirituals and freedom songs. ”

Bobby E. Davis Jr Black Grooves magazine February 3rd, 2020

More than one jazz artist has told me that his goal on stage is to recreate the joy and intensity of church music. Saxist and flute player Will Boyd does that in spades as he takes on the Great American Sunday Hymnal and gives it extra spiritual muscle with support from Bobby Lyle/org-p, Kelle Jolly voc-uk, Gregory Tardy/ts, Larry Vincent-David Bivens/g, David Becher/b, Kenneth Brown/dr and Kevin Krapf/perc.While most of the tunes are spirit-filled instrumentals, on a couple of tracks Jolly gets the place rolling on inspired takes of “Every Time I Feel The Spirit” as well as the strutting “Marching to Freedom Land” and closing up the service with the anthem “We Shall Overcome” accompanied by the leader’s rich soprano. The band gives a hip Crescent City beat to the fervent “…Spirit” while delving into a deep and rich modal mood for “Go Down Moses.” Boyd’s baritone sax takes you to a Memphis house of worship for “August Eighth” while his bass clarinet is a balm in Gilead for the flowing “Deep River.” Boyd brings his alto sax into a trio mode with accompaniment by Lyle on organ and Brown’s drum for a gospel beat of “Keep Your Hand On The Plow” with the whole band shuffling down the pews on June Teenth.” Stick around for the Bible study!”

George W. Harris Jazz Weekly November 21, 2019

Recorded over two nights in August of 2017, this swinging album features Will Boyd mostly on his rich soprano and fronting a cooking team of Jonathan Scales/steelpan, Keith L. Brown/key, Jon Hamar/b, Kenneth Brown/dr, Tamara Brown/tam and Kelle Jolly/voc through a mix of originals and traditional tunes. The mix of soprano sax with steel drums makes for a rich and exotic meld of post bop and exotica, as the CTI-flavored “Waltz For Rena” has a soulful Caribbean feel, while a combination of modal and New Orleans street celebration permeates “Kumiko.” Boyd’s baritone sax gets visceral on the muscular grooves of the spiritual “Go Down Moses” while vocalist Jolly delivers bluesy tones on the shuffling “Akane Smile” and richly textured “Momma Don’t Allow.” This guy knows how to work an audience! -”

George W. Harris Jazz Weekly August 9, 2018

WILL BOYD WILL BOYD/Live at the Red Piano Lounge: This mad sax man is much more of a blower than you might think if you just give a cursory listen to the beginning of the set and think he's just another solo show off. When the band kicks in, the kicking really begins. A cat that's firmly in the tradition and knows how to send up a joyful noise, this is a new leader to keep an ear out for. Happy, buoyant playing runs the table here and a good time will be had by all. Well done. Volume 41/Number 192 May 11, 2017 MIDWEST RECORD 830 W. Route 22 #144 Lake Zurich, IL., 60047 ”

— CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2018 Midwest Record

‘WILL BOYD/Freedom Jazz Soul: A mostly gospel record coming from an unexpected place, these jazzbos dress things up in secular clothes, add a few songs about fighting for freedom and wind up opening the ears to the kind of service that brings new faces into the tent. One spin through this and you'll know the real origin of the term ‘joyful noise' Well done throughout.’                                              

                                                   - CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher Copyright 2019 Midwest Record

"I find the Will Boyd recording doubly intriguing with the addition of ukulele playing vocalist, particularly since they are playing traditional songs"! ”

— Jazz Gallery 41