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Not ground breaking, but certainly a very enjoyable Smooth Jazz set.
on June 18, 2010
Certainly he is one of the most eclectic and consistent jazzmen on the market.
This is his 12th solo album in almost 25 years of recording career and fearures special guest appearances by Fred Wesley on trombone, Earl Klugh on acoustic guitar and George Duke on acoustic piano.
It's a pleasant and feel-good set, but do not be fooled by the ironical title.
In fact, if you expect to listen to something edgy and adventurous, you may be very disappointed.
There's no ground breaking on this one, on the contrary Gerald Albright sticks steadly on the Smooth Jazz territory.
Just consider the saccharine-rich version of Burt Bacharach's "Close To You" and the not memorable take on Michael Jackson's "Get On The Floor".
But we cannot say that there are not some good tracks.
The tribute to James Brown "What Would James Do" is at the funkier end of the music's spectrum with guest trombonist sounding uncannily like Fred Wesley.
On the Latin tip, you have another tribute (this time to percussionist Willie Bobo) in "Bobo's Groove" and "I Found The Klugh", which features Earl Klugh on acoustic guitar.
Other highlights are "Capetown Strut", (dedicated the South African city in the occasion of the FIFA 2010 Champonship), which blends Jazz, Pop, Funk and African grooves, and the mellow and very smooth "Road To Peace", dedicated to the Haiti earthquake victims.
"Highway 70" ups the tempo and returns to the funky side of things.
No doubt, the album will do very well on the Smooth Jazz radio Station and Contemporary Jazz Chart, and will appeal to the very man Albright's fans.
It would be nice, next time, to see Mr. Albright playing something really new and not cast of the Smooth/MOR Jazz mould.
Live At Birdland West
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