Kirk Whalum may be a resident artist at the Stax Music Academy in his hometown of Memphis, but fellow smooth jazz saxophonist and Coloradan Gerald Albright has beaten him to the punch with a tribute to the resurrected Stax Records. (To be fair, Whalum released Into My Soul in 2003, which he called a tribute to Memphis music.) All is cool in the smooth world, however, as Whalum blessed the recording with a guest spot on “Walkin’ Down Beale Street,” one of three originals. The others are “Memphis Passion” and a rollicking, very 2008 tribute to the father of blues, “W.C. Handy Bop.”
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