Gerald Albright -][- Giving Myself To You –Mp3– [Atlantic Records, 1995 | Review]
By now, many of you have had the pleasure to meet virtuoso saxophonist Gerald Albright’s music. His timbre continues to simmer with a compassionate yet conversational in tone therefore allowing him to have one of the most distinctive voices in instrumental music. “Giving Myself To You,” [my favorite] his 1995 release on Atlantic Records is in my opinion was a defining moment for him as a soloist. With this project he expanded his chops and compositional palette by offering listeners and opportunity to hear him in a different context.
From the beginning, the sentiment of this musical journey overflows with passion as the sassy and funky phrases of his voice lyrically ignites on the Latin inspired “Samba Queen, and Chips N’ Salsa.” These tasty gems will indeed encourage you as music lovers to engage in some serious toe tapping and head bopping. Oh yeah, it’s like that! When heavy weighs like Cyrus Chestnut, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Bobby Lyle, Harvey Mason, Ronnie Foster and Joe Sample join the session it’s time to step it up and do what you do best play your heart out!
Famed sideman and trumpeter/flugelhornist extraordinaire Oscar Brashear underscores the velocity of this next track with his masterful solos on the funky and bluesy “Oo Pah Doo.” The legendary Ronnie Foster steps in with killer solos on the Hammond Organ.
Each composition on this extraordinary eleven piece journey preserves their own shape as the melodies of each song are strut together in nuances draw you into an atmosphere where jazz enthusiast can rely on innate tones that will undeniably satisfy. At any given moment the soloist and their exceptional interplay exhales with expansive knowledge in the language of jazz.
Time and again, great music just doesn’t disappoint. For those of you who have heard some of his records and seen Albright perform live you know this brother can definitely play. Over the years the template of his music has primarily dwelled in the playground of R&B, smooth and funk side of contemporary jazz. Nonetheless, “Giving Myself To You,” my favorite to date offers a more substantive approach in his writing and playing. Hopefully, in the future as time and money allows him to revisit this place once again. Until then, if you haven’t how about test driving this album you’ll love it simply because it’s pure Gerald Albright! -Rob Young | Urban Flux Media
** This review was originally published on The Urban Music Scene.com ***