Gerald Albright – New Beginnings
(Peak – 2006)
by Paula Edelstein
Gerald Albright lives up to his stellar reputation as “one amazing player” and composr with something to say on his debut for Peak Records titled New Beginnings The CD features an array of inspired performances which feature such great musicians as Jeff Lorber, Patrice Rushen, Paul Jackson, Jr., Chuckki Booker and a guest appearance by vocalists Wallace & Walter Scott of The Whispers on their smash hit “And The Beat Goes On.” From smooth jazz to the ultra funky party groove, Albright struts his stuff with a top to bottom command of his amazing saxophone voices.
He plays alto, baritone, and tenor saxes for most of the set then brings in a harmonious flute on three tracks including a scorching groove with trumpeter Chris Botti on “Big Shoes.” Top pick is “Georgia On My Mind,” and Albright plays it to the hilt. Despite the song’s association with Ray Charles as his trademark piece, Albright’s saxophone “sings” in the same soulful voices with awesome phrasings and compelling riffs that will have you on your feet. With the perfect blend of soul, funk, gospel, and smooth urban grooves, New Beginnings says it all for a very talented musician that’s been full circle on the jazz scene.