Though Stax Records never quite became a household name on the order of Motown, the music put out during the '60s and '70s by the Memphis-based soul label has proved just as enduring as the Motor City sound. And though he's from Los Angeles, saxophonist Gerald Albright has musical roots in the same mix of blues, gospel and R&B that formed the basis of the Stax sound. On his latest CD, Sax For Stax, Albright offers updated takes on tunes recorded for the label by Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers and others. For the subsequent tour, he's teamed up with his buddy, fellow saxophonist and Memphis native Kirk Whalum, to offer a friendly, modern-day version of that jazz staple, the tenor-sax battle.
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