Renowned saxman Gerald Albright has had a long association with Gospel, having stepped into many of a Gospel recording session, including those of Take 6 and BeBe and CeCe, plus scores of others in mainstream R&B.
On his most recent solo venture titled Groovology from Verve Records, Albright continues to impress with his smoothly funky instrumental jazz approach and soul-laden tack on original instrumentals and tributes, with several tracks also featuring light vocals. And he brings some interesting Gospel associates into the picture to do so.
Radical For Christ associates are peppered all the way through the album. RFC band notable Luther “Mano” Hanes joins with Fred Hammond to co-write “I Will Always Love You”. Hanes co-produces with Albright and also sings softly behind Albright’s mellow sax, Marvin McQuitty’s drums and Paul Jackson Jr.’s acoustic guitar.
RFC vocalist Terrell Carter sings lead and backing vocals on the pleasingly funky “I Need You”. The crew of McQuitty, Hanes plus Maurice Fitzgerald on bass and Joey Woolfalk on guitar work on “Groovology”, the title track. Sheila E on percussion and Chuckii Booker on keys step in on the James Brown-sy “Don’t Hold Back”.
“Change The World” is an inspirational cut with a touch of organ from Tim Carmon and Hanes own studio-stacked vocals underneath Albright’s tenor sax and funk-steady bass.
Albright concludes Groovology with a cover of Kyle Matthews’ “We Fall Down”, the song made famous by Donnie McClurkin. Handling bass, multi-sax and keyboards, he brings in McQuitty on drums and looks to a fine crew of session vocalists (including Chris Bolton) to deliver the familiar words.
While “Groovology” is not an outright Gospel album, the players involved and the beautiful spirit and tone infused into the project make it one that fans of Gospel will be very comfortable with.
— reviewed by Stan North —
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