This week, StLJN's video spotlight shines on saxophonist Gerald Albright, who will be back in St. Louis to perform on Friday, June 16 at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of A Salute to Fathers and Mentors," also featuring singer Denise Thimes, saxophonist Tim Cunningham, and comedian James Stephens III.
A native of Los Angeles, Albright first gained public attention as a solo artist in the mid-1980s after touring as a sideman with Patrice Rushen and Alphonse Mouzon. With a bluesy sound on alto sax and a penchant for covering popular soul and R&B songs, he has released 18 albums as a leader, the most recent being 2016's G, and also has toured and/or recorded with Anita Baker, Ray Parker, Jr., The Temptations, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Lorber, Teena Marie, Quincy Jones, Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, and many others.
In addition to leading his own band, Albright in recent years has been part of a series of tours under the Jazz Explosion" banner, co-headlining with Will Downing, Jonathan Butler, Hugh Masekela, Chaka Khan, Rachelle Ferrell, and others. He was last in St. Louis in December 2015 at the Friendly Temple as part of saxophonist Kirk Whalum's Gospel According to Jazz" Christmas show.
Though he's best known for a contemporary R&B style, Albright also is a capable interpreter of jazz standards, as demonstrated in the first video up above, a version of Thelonious Monk's Round Midnight" recorded in 2016 at The Villa in Sandy, Utah.
You can see two clips shot by an audience member at a 2013 show at Thornton Winery in Temecula, CA, in which Albright plays a medley of two of his most popular songs, So Amazing" and My My My," followed by a version of Grover Washington Jr's Winelight."
Next up are two clips recorded at Spaghettini Grill & Jazz Club in Seal Beach CA, which feature Albright in 2013 covering Georgia On My Mind" and in 2016 digging into James Brown's Its a Man's, Man's, Man's World".
The last clip is a brief video interview from March 2017, in which Albright talks with journalist Roland Martin about his most recent album and more.
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