New Beginnings features 12 tracks of moving originals mixed with classics; "Georgia On My Mind," a Hoagy Carmichael/ Stuart Gorrell tune, along with some deep funk and premium guest artists. Let’s face it. If Gerald Albright’s name is on it, it is Good! How good? Let’s say for music lovers, this is a keeper, once isn’t enough. Heck, this album is addictive!
New Beginnings features guests who have created repeated hits for decades, including Rex Rideout, Jeff Lorber, Chuckii Booker, Luther 'Mano' Hanes and the timeless Walter and Wallace Scott of the Whispers. Chris Botti even joins in for a solo trumpet spot on the track "Big Shoes." Beginning the album with a Gerald Albright and Jeff Lorber written tune "We Got The Groove," Teddy Campbell keeps a cool drum beat as Albright swings on sax. This is a jamming groove.
The title track "New Beginnings" shows Tracy Carter’s skill on piano before being joined by Albright. Stepping out, Patrice Rushan does a piano solo, backed by Melvin Davis on bass guitar. A catchy tune, offering plenty of variety for all music lovers.
Another Albright/Lorber original, "Deep Into My Soul" is a little more relaxed, thought provoking, hinting at intimacy-just before stunning the audience with a special guest appearance by vocalists Walter Scott and Wallace ‘Scotty’ Scott of The Whispers. "And The Beat Goes On" is just as remembered, all the flavor and funk with which it first hit the airwaves. The unmistakable voices of the Scotts keep this all time favorite just as hot and just as loved today as it was the first time we heard it.
One string at a time, guitarist John "Jubu" Smith opens "Georgia On My Mind" in a deep blues rhythm, allowing each note to linger until joined by Albright on his tenor sax for a stealthy, out front version of this famous tune. Don’t be fooled by the solemn beginning. The musicians take off and create a fantastic conversation calling for maximum attention. One note; one string at a time, capturing the listener in a frantic episode of spectacular musicianship, right up to the end when Albright squeezes every ounce of sound from his magical sax.
"Take Your Time" shows Albright’s skill on flute, sharing the spotlight with Jeff Lorber on bass guitar. A spunky number with a solid beat and a hint of suspense, "I Want Somebody", written by Albright and Chuckii Booker, features marvelous runs on sax with a funky back beat of Booker’s drum programming.
Switching to a love song, "You Are My Love," Albright’s sax is joined by Ricky Watford on guitar and light, airy vocals of Luther "Mano" Hanes in this slower tempo, mellow tune. But, don’t get too relaxed. "Last But Not Least" follows with a spirited percussion, along with Albright’s talented, flowing notes.
As with all of Albright's creations, New Beginnings features the finest artistry, the greatest creativity, and is delivered as only a master can--with peak performance. New Beginnings is superb listening.