Gerald Albright - Sax For Stax


Los Angeles-born Gerald Albright is a sax player of his own class. Alone in the U.S. he sold more than one millions copies of his albums and is an international star. He performed with musical legends like Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Jr., The Temptations, Olivia Newton-John, Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, and many others.

Sax For Stax is Gerald twelfth album and the second one on the Peak Records label after New Beginnings (2006). The album comprises eight covers of Stax classics and three original compositions. It's a tribute to the legendary Memphis-based record label with artists like Wilson Pickett, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MG's,  Isaac Hayes and many more. Concord Records reactivated the Stax label in 2006 with artists like Angie Stone, Soulive, Lalah Hathaway and Nikka Costa. The album was produced and arranged in parts by Gerald and by Rex Rideout. The recording was teamed by Teddy Cambell (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Melvin Davis (bass), Errol Cooney (guitar), Tracy Carter (keyboards), Mark Cargill (strings), Rex Rideout (keyboards) with guest appearances of Will Downing, Ledisi, Kirk Whalum, Philip Bailey and more.

Isaac Hayes, "The Black Moses of Soul" composed the Theme from "The Men" for the short-lived television serial "The Men" (1973). Gerald overtrumps the original with a remarkable sax solo.

Eddie Floyd wrote the song Knock On Wood 1966 for his single, released on Stax. One year later label mate Otis Redding released a cover version, also Ike and Tina Turner and David Bowie did, but the most popular cover version was Ami Stewart reaching the top of the charts in U.S. 1978. Gerald performs the tune with a maximum of energy.

Never Can Say Goodbye is another eternal hit written by Clifton Davis and performed by the Jackson 5 (1971) featuring Michael Jackson. Later the song was covered by Gloria Gaynor, The Communards, Joey Summerville, Isaac Hayes, Cal Tjader and many more. Gerald's version features singer Will Downing,  with whom he released the album Pleasures Of The Night (1998).

Memphis Passion is Gerald's own composition and tribute to Memphis, Tennessee. "Memphis is a great city from which many great musicians have made tremendous contributions to music," comments Gerald. An emotional tune with a captivating melody.

Respect Yourself, a self-empowerment for African-Americans during the 70's, was written by Luther Ingram and Mack Rice for the Staples Singers (Be Altitude, 1972), one of their biggest hit. If you disrespect anybody that you run in to how in the world do you think anybody's s'posed to respect you? The part of Mavis Staples, who had the strongest voice of the Staples Singers, is taken over by Ledisi. Her voice is husky with emotion. Great!

I Stand Accused is one of coroner Jerry Butler's early masterpieces of the '60's. Isaac Hayes released a cover in 1973 on his album Black Moses Of Soul and on numerous compilations. Gerald's rendition epitomizes the essence of the song perfectly.

Sir Mack Rice was a Detroit based vocalist who wrote Cheaper to Keep Her. The song got popular with the version of the Blues Brothers. Gerald's rendition is very special because he presents a fantastic horn arrangement and levels the tune to a Big Band presentation.

Walkin' Down Beale Street is Gerald's second composition on this album devoted to Memphis, where this street is situated. B.B. Kings, Pat O'Brien's, Silky Sullivan's, and the Hard Rock Cafe are locations you shouldn't miss. Gerald's bass driven song smells the atmosphere of these bubbling venues. Awesome his duet with Kirk Whalum.

What You See is What You Get was Tony Hester's first great hit. The Dramatics got a number three position on the R&B charts in 1971 with this song. Gerald's version is featuring singer Philip Bailey while the main part of the melody is performed by Gerald's formidable sax.

Johnnie Taylor, The Philosopher of Soul, had during his period on Stax the smash hit Who's Making Love (1968). This ultra funky tune get its fine finish with Gerald's rendition. Funky horns at its best.

W.C. Handy is known as the "Father of the Blues". This blues composer and  musician (Memphis Blues, Beale Street Blues, St. Louis Blues and Yellow Dog Blues) was one of the most famous exponents of the blues. W.C. Handy Hop is dedicated to this legend.

Sax For Stax is a retrospective to the blossoming time of the Stax label but also a return to the past values of blues, soul and funk. Gerald's rear view clarifies the roots of the past success and inflames with his own mastership the enthusiasm for these styles.






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  • Title: Sax For Stax
    Artist: Gerald Albright
    Year: 2008
    Length: 0:51:19
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Peak Records

    01 Theme from "The Men [5:09]
    02 Knock On Wood [4:05]
    03 Never Can Say Goodbye [4:17]
    04 Memphis Passion [4:55]
    05 Respect Yourself [5:06]
    06 I Stand Accused [5:11]
    07 Cheaper to Keep Her [4:23]
    08 Walkin' Down Beale Street [4:31]
    09 What You See is What You Get [4:51]
    10 Who's Making Love [4:16]
    11 W.C. Handy Hop [4:36]