Sax man Gerald Albright and guitarist Norman Brown are major stars in the US smooth jazz firmament and on this – their first joint album – they create a set that will double the pleasure for fans of the genre since ’24/7′ ticks all the requisite smooth jazz boxes. None of the 10 tracks make real remands; it’s all glossily produced and packaged and the playing’s clean, precise and slick. Moreover, the repertoire features all the ingredients you’d expect from a classic smooth jazz album.
There’s just the right balance between the soul-based up-tempo grooves and the ballads and there’s the obligatory nod to Latin rhythms, a couple of covers and a smattering of polite vocals. Best of those vocals is the breezy cover of Ne-Yo’s ‘Champagne Life’ which features Albright’s daughter, Selina who also takes lead on the more laid-back LP title cut. The other vocal is a decent Quiet Storm tune, ‘Perfect Love’. Here the vocal is shared by Brown’s daughter, Rochella, and his godson, DeMille Cole-Heard. Best of the up-tempo stuff includes the poppy opener, ‘In The Moment’ and the almost funky ‘Yes I Can’ while ‘Buenos Amigos’ is a slow burning Latin item – written by Albright as a tribute to Willie Bobo, no less, with whom Albright worked regularly.
The LP’s other cover is a version of the Brothers Johnson’s ‘Tomorrow’… a perfect smooth jazz confection. If you’re ever asked to define the genre then use this track. It’s mellow with a great soulful undertow that keeps it out of the middle of the road.