Just Between Us

by: Gerald Albright

After he played on dozens of high-profile R&B recordings, including Rick James and Teena Marie's "Fire and Desire" and Patrice Rushen's "Forget Me Nots," Gerald Albright signed with Atlantic, where he remained for a decade. Just Between Us, the saxophonist's self-produced debut, is a lively mix of instrumentals and vocal cuts that fuses and alternates between smooth jazz and contemporary R&B. Albright gets some help from Rushen, as well as additional veteran keyboardists Rodney Franklin and Bobby Lyle, but it's relative youngster Chuckii Booker (credited as Charles Booker) whose work shines most among the guests; opener "New Girl on the Block" contains one of his unmistakable DX7 grooves. The Miracles' Billy Griffin takes the lead on "You Don't Even Know," a bright ballad that should have been a hit on jazz radio. The sparkling "So Amazing," featuring Albright in typically joyous form, was the major single -- a number 12 hit on Billboard's Hot Black Singles chart. This established Albright's long-term presence at the fore of commercial jazz. ~ Andy Kellman

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