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Gerald Albright's 14th career album, 2014's Slam Dunk, once again showcases the veteran saxophonist's funky take on smooth jazz and instrumental R&B. The album is Albright's first actual solo release since 2010's Pushing the Envelope. It also comes on the heels of his 2012 collaboration with guitarist Norman Brown, 24/7. As with those and other past Albright releases, Slam Dunk is a highly dynamic album with tracks that run the gamut from kinetic, finger-snapping funk ("Slam Dunk") to atmospheric, sensual slow jams ("Because of You") to layered, Latin-inflected numbers ("Fiesta Interlude"). Albright also makes room for a few well-chosen covers in James Brown's "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" and the Cyndi Lauper '80s classic "True Colors." Similarly engaging are such cuts as the George Duke-inspired midtempo groover "The Duke," the evocative Peabo Bryson vocal feature "Where Did We Go Wrong?," and the uplifting album closer "Gospel." Instrumentally, Slam Dunk shines a spotlight on Albright's generous musical ability, and many of the tracks here feature multi-tracked saxophone intros (all played by Albright). Of course, the main draw with Albright is his soulful improvisation, and of that, Slam Dunk has plenty. Ultimately, Slam Dunk might not be a game-changer for Albright, but for longtime fans looking for an album that delivers on his urbane, sophisticated smooth jazz sound, it's a sure thing.
Performance CreditsGerald Albright Primary Artist,Bass,Flute,Bass Guitar,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Background Vocals,Soloist,Lead
Peabo Bryson Vocals,Background Vocals
Dawn Tallman Background Vocals
Rick Watford Guitar
Selina Albright Background Vocals
Chris Davis Keyboards
Asa "Ace" Livingston Bass Guitar
Jerohn Garnett Drums
Technical CreditsJames Brown Composer
Michael McDonald Liner Notes
Gerald Albright Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Vocal Arrangements,Horn Arrangements,drum programming,Flute Arrangement
Tom Kelly Composer
Thom "TK" Kidd Vocal Engineer
Billy Steinberg Composer
Selina Albright Vocal Arrangements
Chris Davis Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer
Albert J. Roman Art Direction
Angela Bassett Liner Notes
Betty Newsome Composer