From the Vault...


Gerald Albright
"Slam Dunk"

© Heads Up Records

Year of Release: 2004

track listing
  • Slam Dunk
  • True Colors
  • Because Of You
  • It's A Man's Man's
    Man's World
  • The Duke
  • Sparkle In Your Eyes
  • Sparkle In Your Eyes
  • Where Did We Go Wrong
  • Fiesta Interlude
  • Split Decision
  • The Gospel Interlude
  • The Gospel

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    Gerald Albright related sites:
    Gerald Albright Website
    Previous Review: #1763
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer--Tarkus
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    Mae--The Everglow
    Gerald Albright
    "Slam Dunk"

    The great, smooth jazz genre has returned this week, and the debut of Jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright. His 2004 release, Slam Dunk gets the nod this week for review. Albright has made a name for himself on the jazz chart, with the title track reaching #1, on the Smooth Jazz Songs Chart (Billboard). And another song from this album, "Because Of You" also reached #1. Having seven #1 smooth jazz songs, he has yet to reach #1 on the jazz albums chart; hopefully that can change. He also has 8 Grammy nominations, from 1988 to 2014. He is also a bass player. His credits as a studio musician, as he worked with greats such as Anita Baker, Ray Parker Jr., Olivia Newton-John, and The Temptations. He toured with Anita Baker, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Jeff Lorber, as well as others. A truly talented musician, his credits also in Jazz Explosion tours, television programs, and the Playstation video game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. And, he was one of ten saxophonists to perform at the inaguration of President Bill Clinton. Wow, what a great report card he has. And, it is no doubt, his music is just as exceptional.

    It's easy to see how the title track got it's name, and reached #1... It's powerful, a true "slam dunk," and a great start for this album. "True Colors" is the Cyndi Lauper tune, yet Albright's version is different than Cyndi's, and matches the great Smooth Jazz sound. This version was inspired by Phil Collins, and vocals provided by Gerald and Selena Albright (Gerald's daughter). The second #1, "Because Of You" is a smooth and lovely tune, fitting easily the great Smooth Jazz genre.

    Albright puts his own touch on the classic James Brown hit, "It's A Man's Man's Man's World." It's obviously a great smooth jazz rendition, full of energy. The next track, "The Duke" is dedicated to another great jazz musican, George Duke. He had many albums of his own (1966-2013) and had toured with Frank Zappa. George Duke passed away in 2013, from chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

    The short "Sparkle In Your Eyes Interlude" features Albright on the picolo bass guitar, and great lead guitar, by Ken Smith. The main "Sparkle In Your Eyes" tune is next, and it's as funky as you would like it.

    Peabo Bryson (another great vocalist), provides the singing on "Where Did We Go Wrong," another great Smooth Jazz sounding tune. "Fiesta Interlude" is upbeat, and groovin'. Albright provides his bass guitar skills on "Split Decision." And ending the album is a another great lovely tune, "The Gospel Interlude/The Gospel."

    Slam Dunk by Gerald Albright is a fantastic jazz album... Gerald Albright himself says about this album is so, so true:
    This CD is a platform for you to listen, enjoy, feel, and spread the good news about! It displays my true passion for playing several instruments and employing them as seasonings throughout the project. I truly hope you enjoy the ride from the first tune to the last.

    And if that isn't enough, other celebrities have also enjoyed this album, such as actress Angela Bassett:
    Music has a way of getting all the gatekeepers. Gerald Albright expresses it in such a way that I feel his joy and intent from the very first note. Whether he twists it up and redefines the classics in a soulful, moody way or throws down on some fresh new groove... body, soul and inspiration and guaranteed to be moved.

    And from well-known musician/singer/songwriter Michael McDonald:
    So many phrases in the English language have, over the centuries, become what is commonly referred to as a cliche (and as the word cliche is drawn from the French language, maybe can assume that other languages share this problem).
    From the blush of a woman's cheek long being compared to a rose, up to contemporary conversation, where the word "awesome" is now being overused to describe anything considered to be the least bit to the positive side.
    The phrase "consummate musician" lives in constant danger of becoming another cliche. Like so many wonderful descriptions, it is used inappropriately far too much. However, in its origin it did -- and in the right instance even now does it still--hold great meaning. When used in the proper application, it points to something incredible; someone extroadinary!
    So I'm here to tell you that in its most appropriately definitive usage, the phrase "consummate musician" fits my friend Gerald Albright to a "T"! His formidable talent, like a shooting star, knows no boundaries and sets him so far apart from so many other accomplished musicians. As a composer, instrumentalist, arranger / producer / artist he truly redefines the word "consummate" and raises the bar for the meaning of the word "musician."

    Get acquainted with the great music of Gerald Albright. His Slam Dunk album has all the right sounds for the cool Smooth Jazz fan. It's smooooth, it's beautiful, it's funky, it's jazzy. It's Gerald Albright, and the title says it all.. It's a Slam Dunk, for sure...

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Heads Up Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1763
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer--Tarkus
    Next Review: #1765
    Mae--The Everglow