Welcome to another Black Diamond Jazz Sessionz experience my beautiful people. Today, coming to the experience is a living legend and one of my very favorite ax players on the planet. When it comes to Contemporary Smooth Jazz saxophonist extraordinaire Gerald Albright is sublime at his craft. He is known as one of the legendary Godfathers of smooth, contemporary jazz music. And, he has earned that moniker and more with his mastery and his stellar catalogue of jazz music.
Gerald Albright plays his saxophone like it’s a sex-a-phone. It speaks a seductive language all of its own. The man can make his instrument speak like no one else. He displays total freedom and creativity to make his horn do anything he can imagine. It functions like a body part he simply will to do his bidding. His intonation, vibrato, clarity and dexterity are just incredible to hear and watch.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Albright was already an accomplished saxophonist by the time he enrolled at the University of Redlands, but he switched to bass after he saw Louis Johnson of the group The Brothers Johnson in concert. A few months after graduating from college, he joined jazz pianist/R&B singer Patrice Rushen, who was in the process of forming her own band. Later, when the bassist left in the middle of a tour, Albright replaced him and finished the tour on bass guitar. Playing both sax and bass, he became the consummate session and touring musician in the 80s, working with everyone from Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Jr., Atlantic Starr, The Temptations and Maurice White to Les McCann, Teena Marie, the Winans and Whitney Houston.
He launched his solo career in the infancy of what became the smooth jazz format, with Just Between Us in 1987 and has been a core part of the genre with chart-topping albums, countless radio hits and as a member of many all star tours, including Guitars & Saxes and Groovin’ For Grover. In the late 90s, he fronted a big band for and toured with pop star Phil Collins and did a dual recording with vocal great Will Downing called Pleasures of the Night. Between his last two Grammy-nominated solo albums Pushing The Envelope (2010) and Slam Dunk (2014), he enjoyed hit collaborations with two huge hits – 24/7 with guitarist Norman Brown and Summer Horns by Dave Koz and Friends (including Mindi Abair and Richard Elliot), which were also Grammy-nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Albums.
He’s toured with Brown and Summer Horns, and most recently has been on the road with South Africa gospel/jazz singer and guitarist Jonathan Butler. Albright’s other albums whose titles perfectly reflect their flow include Smooth (1994), Groovology(2002), Kickin’ It Up (2004) and Sax for Stax (2008). Pushing The Envelope (2010), 24/7 with Norman Brown (2012), Summer Horns I and II (With Dave Koz And Friends) (2013,2015), Slam Dunk (2014), G (2016) and his 30 year tribute album titled (30)
Albright says, “Whether in concert, listening to my music over the radio or CD player, I always want my listeners to be taken on a musical journey with different textures, rhythms, chord progressions and moods. I want people to know where I’ve been and where I’m going, and to let them hear that I’m in a really good place in my life.”
Sooooooo, for this experience I’ve compiled, what I believe to be his best work, along with some of his features, live cuts and collaborations. Featured are his Summer Horns works along with Dave Koz and friends, his work with guitarist Norman Brown, his singular album work that has spanned 30+ years and finishing off the experience with cuts off his Pleasures of the Night magical collab album with the one and only Will Downing.
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to the Diamond Jazz Sessionz with his magical sex-a-phone the incomparable, uncomparable jazz impresario Gerald Albright….welcome to the pleasures of a sax man people...BLOW BROTHER GERALD….BLOW!!!!!!
This track was tagged with the following keywords: Jazz, jazz, Smooth Jazz.
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