Gerald Albright's second Peak Records release, "Sax for Stax" (June 24), features Will Downing, Kirk Whalum, recent Grammy nominee Ledisi and Earth, Wind & Fire's Phillip Bailey. Fronted by lead single "Knock on Wood" (originally a No. 1 R&B hit for Eddie Floyd in 1966), the project-Albright's 13th-includes six additional Stax covers and three original tunes.
Collaborating with Albright on the project was producer Rex Rideout. "I had the autonomy to do the type of record that supported my vision," says Albright. "It's for old school fans but also for new fans who haven't heard the Stax legacy. I wanted to educate and provide musical enjoyment at the same time."
Albright, who also guests on Brian Culbertson's recent GRP release, "Bringing Back the Funk," is currently performing on the "Guitar & Saxes" tour. Among the scheduled stops for him and fellow musicians Jeff Golub, Jeff Lorber and Peter White is the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on June 15. Albright's first Peak outing was 2006' "New Beginnings."