Jazz greats join forces on new Concord album

As listeners, we like to enjoy music 24 hours a day, seven days a week. So it’s a good thing that contemporary jazz greats Gerald Albright and Norman Brown have been working overtime to produce “24/7,” their first album together. This June 19 release on Concord Jazz, a division of Concord Music Group, offers 10 killer soul-jazz tracks of music that never sleeps.

Ever since the debut of Norman Brown’s critically acclaimed 2002 album, Just Chillin’ – which won a GRAMMY in the prestigious Best Pop Instrumental Category – this innovative and original guitarist has been front and center in the fast evolving fusion of pop, R&B and jazz that has captured the imagination of true music aficionados across the country and around the world.

On “24/7,” Brown teams up with saxophone master Gerald Albright, whose high-profile recordings have established the Los Angeles-based musician as one of the most prominent artists and a true “musicians’ musician.” Whether he is playing contemporary or straight-ahead jazz, Albright stands in a class all by himself. His 2010 release, “Pushing The Envelope,” received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Pop Instrumental Album.

“The title is reflective of the commitment that both of us have made in terms of our instruments,” Albright says. “Even when we sleep we’re thinking about melodies, recordings, concerts and whatever we’re going to do next. 24/7 also speaks to the camaraderie between us. I first met Norman back in the ’80s, when we would play together at a club in Redlands, CA. Other musicians would stop by, but I was always impressed with Norman’s playing. It was a lot of fun – but a challenge as well. We went our separate ways, but here we are now.”

Brown adds, “When we were recording the project, we didn’t have a lot of time – so we were working on it 24/7!”

24/7 spotlights Brown on lead and rhythm guitars, alongside Albright on alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flutes, bass guitar, electric wind instrument, percussion, programming and background vocals. The band for most of the recording alternates between keyboardist Tracy Carter, rhythm guitarist Rick Watford and drummer Jay Williams; and keyboardist Herman Jackson, bassist Byron Miller, drummer Charles Streeter and percussionist Ramon Yslas.

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