Saxophonist extraordinaire Gerald Albright is back with his smooth grooves, hence the name of this, his ninth album. Chock full of passionate, fresh tracks and hooks that grab the listener and don't let go, Groovology delivers on every level.
Albright has brought in a top-flight roster of sidemen who bring on the funk, and the R&B and, of course, some of the coolest jazz. There are some fine offerings on this CD. "Old School Jam" and the title track (both tributes to James Brown), will immediately catch the listener's ear. "The Next Level" and "I Will Always Love You" are excellent tracks. The instrumental version of "We Fall Down" will wind up in extremely heavy rotation on smooth jazz stations and has a huge crossover appeal. But...it is the Jeff Lorber collaboration "Ain't No Stoppin"" that is the absolute highlight of this CD.
Groovology is by no means the perfect jazz album. It's very good, but it does have its flaws. The biggest, most glaring and ultimately the only one that really deserves criticism is the Eric Clapton cover. "Change The World" is muzak at best. It isn't bad, but I'm sure I'll be hearing it in an elevator somewhere very soon. Albright would have been better served had he just left the song in the studio.
Groovology is a terrific smooth jazz CD. It is a must for Albright fans.
Track Listing: 1. Old School Jam (Albright) - 4:25
2. Groovology (Albright/McQuitty) - 4:47
3. Bring a Li'l Love (Curtis/Walker) - 3:42
4. Ain't No Stoppin' (Albright/Lorber) - 4:19
5. Change the World (Kennedy/Kirkpatrick/Sims) - 5:02
6. I Will Always Love You (Albright/Hammond/Hanes) - 5:09
7. The Next Level (Albright) - 4:43
8. I Need You (Carter/Cymone) - 3:59
9. Don't Hold Back (Albright) - 4:22
10. We Fall Down (Matthews) - 5:49
Personnel: Gerald Albright - Arranger, Guitar (Bass), Keyboards, Sax (Alto), Sax (Baritone), Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor), Producer, Engineer, Horn Arrangements, Drum Programming, Mixing, Saxophone Arrangement
Paul Pesco - Guitar (Electric)
Bobby Lyle - Keyboards
Jeff Lorber - Keyboards, Producer, Engineer, Drum Programming
Chris Walker - Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)
Bill McKinley - Guitar (Bass)
Chuckii Booker - Keyboards
Greg Curtis - Keyboards, Vocals, Vocals (bckgr), Producer, Engineer, Drum Programming, Mixing
Chuck Cymone - Keyboards, Drum Programming
Lynn Davis - Vocals (bckgr)
Bud Harner - Executive Producer
Paul Jackson Jr. - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Ricky Lawson - Drums
Lamont VanHook - Vocals (bckgr)
David Delhimme - Keyboards
Kenya Hathaway - Vocals (bckgr)
Anthony Jeffries - Engineer, Mixing
Maurice Fitzgerald - Guitar (Bass)
Tim Carmon - Organ, Keyboards
Rocky Schenck - Photography
Hollis King - Art Direction
Chris Bolton - Vocals (bckgr)
Marvin McQuitty - Drums, Drum Programming
Terrell Carter - Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)
Steve Hall - Mastering
John Newcott - Release Coordinator
Luther "Mano" Hanes - Keyboards, Vocals (bckgr), Producer, Vocal Arrangement, Drum Sequencing
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.