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    Pleasures Of The Night with Gerald Albright

    Pleasures Of The Night with Gerald Albright Description

    This first pairing of R&B song stylist Downing with soulful sax man Albright is nothing short of inspired, providing two of the ’80s’ most popular performers with a chance to showcase their jazz chops. Pleasures of the Night also gives Downing–best known for his stellar work on albums like A Dream Fulfilled and Love’s the Place to Be–some respite from the drive for chart hits evident on his last few albums for Mercury. His velvetlike baritone is perfectly suited to the diverse range of material, which includes the Beatles’ “Michelle,” Stevie Wonder’s “Girl Blue,” and standards like “The Nearness of You” and “Here’s That Rainy Day.” Albright gets plenty of room to shine with deft but subtle musical nuances on the Bacharach-David classic “The Look of Love” and the Stylistics’ “Stop, Look, Listen” and is at his peak on the out-and-out jazz-oriented instrumental “Back to the Roots.” Produced by longtime Downing collaborator Ronnie Foster, the album’s guest stars include top players like Patrice Rushen and Bobby Lyle on keyboards, Paul Jackson on guitar, Abe Laboriel on bass, and Harvey Mason on drums. A significant creative departure for Downing, Pleasures of the Night promises a whole new career chapter for the Brooklyn-born vocalist: traditional R&B’s temporary loss may represent a permanent gain for the world of contemporary jazz, which desperately needs some new male-vocal blood. –David Nathan

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