New Beginnings

New Beginnings

by Gerald Albright
     
 

Make no mistake: Gerald Albright has chops -- serious chops -- not to mention strong improvisational skills (on both tenor and alto sax) and a healthy amount of gritty, down-home soulfulness. But having a lot of positive attributes and actually making the most of them are two different things -- and while the saxman has excelled at times (1991's Live at BirdlandSee more details below

Overview

Make no mistake: Gerald Albright has chops -- serious chops -- not to mention strong improvisational skills (on both tenor and alto sax) and a healthy amount of gritty, down-home soulfulness. But having a lot of positive attributes and actually making the most of them are two different things -- and while the saxman has excelled at times (1991's Live at Birdland West remains his most essential disc), he has also delivered his share of forgettable, knee-jerk fluff (1989's Bermuda Nights and 1990's Dream Come True were among the worst offenders). Drawing on both soul-jazz and smooth jazz, New Beginnings is a mixed bag that isn't in a class with Live at Birdland West but is still one of his more worthwhile commercial outings. There are some weak tracks, to be sure; Albright's note-for-note cover of the Whispers' 1979 hit "And the Beat Goes On" pales in comparison to the original version -- and a few other automatic-pilot tracks are equally boring. But when Albright lets loose, New Beginnings becomes a treat that brings to mind Grover Washington, Jr. and early Ronnie Laws rather than Najee, Kenny G., or George Howard. Albright really soars on a gospel-drenched performance of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia on My Mind," and he has some enjoyably funky moments on "Big Shoes" and "We Got the Groove" (both of which keyboardist Jeff Lorber co-wrote with the saxman) as well as the title track (which features Patrice Rushen on acoustic piano). Is Albright capable of much more than what he does on New Beginnings? No question. Albright is quite capable of providing a five-star masterpiece, which New Beginnings is not. Nonetheless, this 2006 release has more pluses than minuses -- and it is certainly superior to Dream Come True, Bermuda Nights, and some of the other duds he recorded for Atlantic in the '80s and '90s.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/2006
Label:
Peak Records
UPC:
0013431854029
catalogNumber:
8540
Rank:
44465

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gerald Albright   Primary Artist,Bass,Flute,Bass Guitar,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Patrice Rushen   Piano
Jeff Lorber   Guitar,Keyboards
Marlon McClain   Guitar
Chuckii Booker   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Chris Botti   Trumpet
Darrell Crooks   Guitar
Melvin Davis   Bass,Bass Guitar
Paul Jackson   Guitar
Rex Rideout   Keyboards
Wallace "Scotty" Scott   Vocals
Tracy Carter   Keyboards
Walter Scott   Vocals
Luther "Mano" Hanes   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Teddy Campbell   Drums

Technical Credits

Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Phil Collins   Liner Notes
Leon F. Sylvers   Composer
Gerald Albright   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Jeff Lorber   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Marlon McClain   Composer
Chuckii Booker   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Steve Hall   Mastering
Sonny Mediana   Art Direction
David Rideau   Engineer
Rex Rideout   Arranger,Producer,Engineer,drum programming
Mark Wexler   Executive Producer
Stuart Gorrell   Composer
Anthony Jeffries   Engineer
Tracy Carter   Arranger,Engineer
Andi Howard   Executive Producer
Luther "Mano" Hanes   Arranger,Composer,Producer

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