Posts Tagged ‘ Jeff Lorber Fusion ’

Mike Stern & Jeff Lorber Fusion – Eleven

GRAMMY Award-winning keyboardist/composer/producer Jeff Lorber recalls seeing guitarist Mike Stern during his much-ballyhooed tenure with Miles Davis in the early ‘80s. “I’ve been a fan of his for a long time,” said the keyboardist, who was touring hard in support of his hit records Wizard Island and It’s a Fact in those analog days. “Jeff Lorber Fusion and Miles Davis were playing some of the same festivals back then, so I got to hear him play.” For his part, Stern offered, “To be honest, I was aware of him, and had heard a bunch of good things, but I had never really checked him out. We were just in different orbits, me and Jeff.”

In subsequent years, each staked out his respective musical territory — Lorber, the electric maestro from Los Angeles, pioneering the post-fusion sound of contemporary jazz with his radio-friendly, groove-oriented instrumental music; Stern, the esteemed six-stringer from New York, lending his considerable chops to bands led by Jaco Pastorius, Michael Brecker and Joe Henderson as well as groups like Steps Ahead, Vital Information and the Brecker Brothers while also leading his own band and cutting 18 recordings under his own name.

Credit bassist-producer Jimmy Haslip, a charter member of Yellowjackets, with bringing these two seemingly disparate musical forces from opposite sides of the country together. And rather than being a musical Odd Couple, it turns out that Lorber and Stern fit hand-in-glove on the ten scintillating tracks that comprise Eleven, set for release on September 27, 2019 via Concord Jazz. (The title is a joking reference toThis Is Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel, who proudly demonstrates in the 1984 movie how his amplifier has a volume knob that goes to eleven… “for when you need that extra push over the cliff.”) Continue reading

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Impact

After Jeff Lorber has achieved nearly everything in his solo career, the win of a GRAMMY for his Jeff Lorber Fusion recording Prototype in the category of Best Contemporary Instrumental Album was the ultimate acknowledgement of his music.

At the same time this was an incentive to make the next album even better. Keyboard wizard Lorber called again his friends Jimmy Haslip (bass) and Andy Snitzer (sax) to create the new project Impact (2018).

Of course, Lorber also relies on well-known professional musicians from his close circle such as drummers Gary Novak and John Roberts, guitarists Paul Jackson Jr., Michael Thompson and Adam Hawley, and horn specialist David Mann. A concept that has also carried his previous releases.

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Impact

“I hope people listening to Impact will enjoy it as much as we did making it. The real completion of the album is when the fans get their hands on it and hopefully really dig it. We’re also looking forward to playing this material on the road, which will be a lot of fun,” concludes Jeff Lorber.  “I think it’s pretty solid. Lots of great playing by excellent musicians.. Gary Novak drums, Jimmy Haslip Bass, Andy Snitzer on sax.. It’s funky, melodic and fresh!”

Will this album have an Impact on you? Listen to it on Amazon.com.

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Prototype

Jeff Lorber is the most sought keyboardist of the smooth jazz genre, but his heart is still beating for fusion jazz. Influenced by groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Return to Forever he founded the group Jeff Lorber Fusion and released in 1977 the self-titled debut album. Soon followed Soft Space (1978), Water Sign (1979), Wizard Island (1980), and Galaxian (1981).

After a period of solo albums he returned to his centerpiece with Now Is The Time (2010), Galaxy (2011), Hacienda (2013), and Step It Up (2015) on Heads Up Records. Prototype is his first album on Shanachie Entertainment. The new group consists of keyboardist Jeff Lorber, bassist Jimmy Haslip and saxophonist Andy Snitzer.

Jeff explains: “I came up with the name Prototype because we are always trying to up our game and come up with new exciting music that could be a prototype or innovative harbinger for the future of our musical style.” The project begins with Hyperdrive, a horn driven funky loaded piece of excellence. The sonic fury of high speed jazz is the ultimate platform for Lorber’s progressive fusion act.

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Prototype

Trailblazing pianist, composer, producer and bandleader Jeff Lorber is a consummate artist who continues to push himself to new plateaus. A groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer along with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber has triumphed as one of the most innovative musical minds in contemporary jazz. The multi Grammy-nominated pianist’s newest CD is a sterling example of his expansive musical roots, masterfully crafted harmonic and melodic sophistication, irresistible finger-poppin’ grooves and intricate rhythmic sense. “I came up with the name Prototype because we are always trying to up our game and come up with new exciting music that could be a prototype or innovative harbinger for the future of our musical style,” says the LA based pianist. Lorber, a Berklee College of Music alum who formerly majored in Chemistry at Boston College goes full throttle on Prototype, orchestrating like an alchemist in the lab concocting a majestic elixir of jazz, soul, funk, pop, R&B and gospel.

Prototype features longtime collaborators – bassist Jimmy Haslip (founding member of The Yellowjackets) and drummer Gary Novak. “From a production standpoint Jimmy adds a ‘big picture’ element. He contributes a lot with his warm bass sound and on the road he is without a doubt one of the finest soloists out there on his instrument.” Lorber adds, “Gary’s very versatile, imaginative, super solid and gets a great sound. He really shines playing over the funky polyrhythmic grooves we record.” The newest member to the all-star unit is saxophonist Andy Snitzer, who like Lorber (and the Brecker Brothers) hails from Cheltenham, PA. Lorber states, “Andy’s got a perfect approach. It’s soulful and melodic and he is not afraid of taking the music outside a bit.” Prototype also features special guests bassist Nathan East, guitarists Chuck Loeb, Larry Koonse and Paul Jackson, Jr. and saxophonist Dave Mann, among others.

“Writing is something that I really enjoy and I’m always coming up with ideas to work on,” states Jeff Lorber, who penned nine of the tracks on Prototype and co-wrote one with Jimmy Haslip. “We put a lot of work, love and care into this record. I hope that everyone who hears it enjoys listening to it as much as we enjoyed writing and recording it. I think it’s the kind of record that will reap dividends by repeated listening because there’s a lot of great playing that you can only appreciate by really getting into it and checking out all the details.” Prototype opens with the spunky and electrifying “Hyperdrive” hinting to the euphoric musical excursion that lies ahead. The track features guitarist and Jazz Funk Soul collaborator Chuck Loeb who calls Jeff “an amazing guy and talent.” Lorber says of bassist Nathan East, who also appears on the track, “Nathan played on ‘Hyperdrive’ because I originally wrote that for his project. He played great on it so we kept it. I have to thank him for not using the track because it’s one of my favorites and the first single!” The album’s title track is a spirited and pulsating mid-tempo blues. Lorber explains, “Blues is a huge part of our music and I think Andy really brings it home with his approach to the melodies and his solos.” Saxophonist Dave Mann offers a vibrant, smoothly executed and feel-good horn arrangement on this track as well as six others. “The shout chorus on ‘Prototype’ is great,” comments Lorber. “I’m glad to also feature guitarist Michael Thompson who plays a stellar solo on the end of the song.” Continue reading

Jeff Lorber Fusion – Step It Up

Fresh off collaborations with Chuck Loeb and Carol Duboc, Jeff Lorber is at it again, this time with Jimmy Haslip as his co-producer. Step It Up by Jeff Lorber Fusion (Heads Up International, 2015) continues Lorber’s tradition multi-genre excellence.

Lorber handles keyboards, and on selected tracks some combination of guitar, bass and Moog bass. Haslip handles bass on all but one track. Other musicians who contribute are Ash Soan, drums; Gary Meek, tenor and soprano saxophones; David Mann, horn section and horn arrangement; Lenny Castro, congas; Paul Jackson Jr., guitar; Claus Martin, sequences; Vinnie Colaiuta, drums; Bob Mintzer, tenor saxophone; Michael Thompson, guitar; Robben Ford, guitar; Gary Novak, drums; and Larry Koonse, guitar.

The set begins with the lively “Get Up.” Aided by Soan, Meek, Mann and Castro, Lorber and Haslip thrill. The title could be a command to the audience to get up out of your seats and dance. It’s a bright, put a smile on your face song, highlighted by a few phrases where Lorber opts for the piano.

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Step It Up

COVER  finalJeff Lorber Fusion, whose previous release Hacienda was praised for its “impeccable musicianship and deep grooves” by JazzTimes and its “funky, rollicking jams” by All About Jazz, returns on September 25, with Step It Up on Heads Up, a division of Concord Music Group. The fourth consecutive collaboration between GRAMMY®-nominated keyboardist/composer/producer Jeff Lorber and GRAMMY-winning bassist/composer/ producer Jimmy Haslip since the two virtuosos reactivated Jeff Lorber Fusion five years ago, Step It Up features 11 new Lorber compositions, several co-written with Haslip. The longtime colleagues also co-produced the recording.

The title Step It Up, says Lorber, “reflects the music: optimistic, energetic and an attempt to ‘step up’ our game—our compositions, production and improvisation—to the next level. This record puts us back in a more familiar Jeff Lorber Fusion groove while we explore some new uncharted areas.”

“We were motivated to find a new direction following Hacienda,” adds Haslip. “That one was a full-on experimental recording. Step It Up is more inside the Jeff Lorber Fusion box but has some new and interesting twists.”

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