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Gerald Albright: Kickin’ It Up

Saxophonist Gerald Albright is blessed with a soulful, expressive sound, and on Kickin’ It Up he displays it via a collection of R&B-inflected tunes that will surely delight his fans and smooth-jazz radio.

Albright’s muscular, multitracked saxes ride a funky groove on “To the Max,” a tune that manages to be funky and smooth simultaneously, while “Walker’s Theme,” which is dedicated to soul great Junior Walker, is a rousing slice of swinging soul-jazz. The title track shape-shifts from assertive funk to smooth-jazz, with George Duke turning in a nimble piano solo, and Albright’s take on the Gamble and Huff chestnut “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” starts out easygoing and builds into a soaring power ballad.

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