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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Slam Dunk

HEADS UP HUI-35403-02



Slam Dunk

True Colors

Because of You

Itís a Manís, Manís, Manís World

The Duke

Sparkle in Your Eyes Interlude

Sparkle in Your Eyes

Where Did We Go Wrong?

Fiesta Interlude

Split Decision

The Gospel Interlude

The Gospel

Gerald Albright (saxes, flute, bass guitar, drum programming, vocals ); Chris Davis (keyboards): Rick Watford (guitar); Jerohn Garnett (drums): Selina Albright and Dawn Tallman (backing vocals); Asa Livingston (bass guitar on Sparkle in Your Eyes); Peabo Bryson (vocals on Where Did We Go Wrong?)

Recorded at Bright Music Studios, Castle Rock, CO and CDS Studios, Wallingford, CT

HEADS UP HUI-35403-02 [48:49]

Saxophonist and bassist (also flautist and vocalist) Gerald Albright is pretty much a one-man band when the overdubberís art gets to work on his music but the core of his band is himself, Chris Davis, the keyboard player, guitarist Rick Watford and drummer Jerohn Garnett. They are joined by other musicians along the route of Albrightís latest, disappointing disc.

Those versed in the lexicon of 1970s funk may welcome this relentless groove more than others who may yearn for greater variety Ė not of instrumentation, or indeed tempo (there is some of that) but of ethos. Even Phil Collinsí True Colours canít quite escape the stylistic straitjacketing imposed on it. The results, via the frequent overdubbing, backing vocals and pumped up sax are mired even deeper by the synthesized horn backings. Thereís no doubting the leaderís excellence as a sax player, in this kind of music Ė his bass playing is more uneven Ė but itís telling that Chris Davisí piano playing in the slow but brief Sparkle in Your Eyes Interlude Ė which prefaces the interlude-less Sparkle in Your Eyes proper Ė comes as a welcome relief. The fatuous parlando of guest vocalist Peabo Bryson doesnít do very much.

A rawer sound would have served Albright better, as would less studio knob-twiddling.

Jonathan Woolf

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