Live to Love
Perennial best-selling sax idol Gerald Albright appears poised to surprise, from the sound of the opening strains of his latest release, Live To Love (Atlantic 83050-2; 53:47). His "You're My Everything" grooves in a slinky, '70s vibe pop-dance mode which nicely complements Albright's muscular alto and tenor play in a whole new way. This different perspective pops up in several places here-most notably on the fun keyboard and guitar-jangling romp, "Sooki Sooki," and the upbeat "Killin' Don't Make No Sense," which has a jumping Stevie Wonder-type feel. These sparkling pieces give Albright a chance to hop on short riffs, and play understated, yet authoritative alto. It's a combination that works-which is why it's a shame that the slippery-cold boudoir ballads also appear to counterbalance the scale. From the bombastic "All I Wanna Do" (which unlike Sheryl Crow's tune, is not much fun at all) to the snail-slow grind "About Last Night," even Albright's most emotive piping can't keep things interesting. Keep your finger on the skip-track button, but the boppier side of Gerald Albright is still worth investigating.