Saxophonist Gerald Albright grew up in Los Angeles, California. But his heart lies in Memphis, Tennessee, once home to the legendary soul music label Stax Records. As VOA's Doug Levine tells us, Albright pays tribute to golden age of soul with a new CD titled "Sax For Stax."
Sounding as if he stepped right out of a Stax recording session, Gerald Albright mixes baritone, tenor and alto sax on Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood."
In its heyday in the 1960s, Stax, owned and distributed by the much larger Atlantic Records, boasted a groundbreaking roster of soul stars, from Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett to Carla Thomas, Isaac Hayes, and Sam And Dave.
Gerald Albright was only 11 years old in 1968, when Stax great Johnnie Taylor had a Top 5 hit with "Who's Making Love."
Albright actually began his musical training on piano at age seven, but he soon switched to saxophone and bass guitar. Over the years, he has accompanied some of the top names in pop and R&B, including an appearance on Quincy Jones' Grammy Award-winning album Back On The Block. Albright launched his critically acclaimed solo career in 1987.
In addition to his remakes of such Stax classics as "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," Albright celebrates the city of Memphis and its rich musical history with three original tunes.
Among them, "Walkin' Down Beale Street," dedicated to a section of downtown Memphis known as "The Home of the Blues."