My Spilt Milk has the first look at the jazz/funk/rock bassist's new video from his upcoming album, "Start the Reactor." 

noah young photo
Noah Young

Funk/jazz/rock band Naughty Professor had a good 2016, and the band’s bassist Noah Young will start 2017 with good news of his own. On January 13, he’ll release his first solo album, Start the Reactor, and today My Spilt Milk is pleased to premiere the first video from the album, “What Have You Been Feeding This Thing?”

The project is no reflection on Naughty Professor. “There are so many incredible musicians in New Orleans and being in a touring band, I end up spending lots of time with the band members of Naughty Professor,” Young says. “It’s fun to get to work with a totally different—and equally killing—group of musicians when I’m in town and playing the music from this record.”

On the album, Young is joined by Brad Walker on saxophone, Danny Abel on guitar, Walter Lundy on drums, and Sam Kuslan and Jason Butler on keyboards. Because he’s running the show, the band allows Young to present a more personal musical vision. “Naughty Professor is completely a collaboratively run group between six people,” he says. “Which is great when we all put our heads together to write music, but it can also make decision making tedious because we get six different opinions on everything. My side project is very simple in comparison. I write the music and organize everything.” 

The seeds of Start the Reactor began two years ago when Young hit a prolific streak, writing more music than Naughty Professor could accommodate. The song “What Have You Been Feeding This Thing?” dates back to 2015 when he was in the jazz program at University of New Orleans. “Brian Seeger and Steve Masakowski inspired me to write more music, and about half of the tracks on this album were written when I was studying there,” Young says. The song title comes from Arnold Schwarzenegger's 1990 version of Total Recall

“What Have You Been Feeding This Thing?” is a fair introduction to Start the Reactor as the funk that pushes Naughty Professor compositions is downplayed. The track grooves more than it swings, but it does so in a reflective mood until the players heat up. According to Young, the album has only a couple of danceable tracks and one with a second line, street parade beat; otherwise, it’s closer to modern jazz.   

“I would say the Snarky Puppy is the most obvious influence I hear in this song, especially in the B section,” he says.