Gerald Albright has sold over 1 million copies of eir albums since ey debuted all the way back in 1987. â€œSax For Staxâ€ is a collection of tracks that continue to cement eir place as an important part of current jazz history. This is due to the fact that the album consists of eight covers of Stax classics, featuring tracks such as â€œWhat You See Is What You Getâ€, a 1971 hit by The Dramatics and a reworking of a song in â€œNever Can Say Goodbyeâ€ that individuals will easily remember. By paying homage to the works of this period, Albright is first introducing listeners to some songs that may have fallen by the wayside in the decades since they have been released, and secondly, is updating them for a more contemporary sound.
Albrightâ€™s own version of smooth jazz and funk is what really lights up â€œSax for Staxâ€, and what will ultimately ensure that listeners stick with the disc from â€œTheme From â€˜The Menâ€™â€ all the way out to the final track, the â€œW.C. Handy Hopâ€. â€œNever Can Say Goodbyeâ€ merits further attention through the drastic changes that Albright places on the track. The addition of vocals by Will Downing further differentiates the track from the rest of the others on â€œSax For Staxâ€, and gives listeners the energy to continue listening to this fifty-plus minute album. Another highlight during â€œSax For Staxâ€ would have to be Albrightâ€™s cover of â€œRespect Yourselfâ€ by the Staple Singers. The funk comes through in a serious way during this track, getting listeners into a groove from which they may never cover.
The vocals present, laid down by Ledisi (whom individuals may know from eir performance of â€œAlrightâ€ from Tyler Perryâ€™s â€œMeet The Brownsâ€), give a vitality above and beyond what has been cultivated and presented to listeners through the whole of â€œSax For Staxâ€. Albright is on eir 11th solo album with this release, and with each subsequent recording, it does feel as if the compositions get a little more tight and the arrangements pop a little more. If you are a fan of the music from Staxâ€™s heyday or of the voluminous discography that Albright has created in the last twenty or so years, make it a point to pick up â€œSax For Staxâ€.
Top Tracks: Whoâ€™s Making Love, Cheaper To Keep Her
Gerald Albright â€“ Sax For Stax / 2008 Peak / 11 Tracks / http://www.peakrecords.com /