Posts Tagged ‘ Jeff Lorber ’

Jeff Lorber and Chuck Loeb – Bop

It’s an all-star cast, although it falls under the heading of two leaders: Jeff Lorber and Chuck Loeb. Bop (2015) is the junction of vintage jazz, a popular festival and charity.

The core group consists of Lorber, Rhodes; Loeb, guitar; Everette Harp, tenor saxophone; Harvey Mason, drums; Brian Bromberg, bass; Rick Braun, trumpet and flugelhorn; and Till Broenner, trumpet. Special guests appear on selected tracks.

The ensemble goes for the jugular on the opening track, a thrilling arrangement of Thelonius Monk’s “Straight No Chaser.” After the horns bring us into the mood of the piece, Loeb takes off on a jaunt worthy of Wes Montgomery. Braun and Bronner take their turns and engage in a brief call-and-response sequence, followed by Lorber. The track ends with Braun’s signature throaty wail.

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Smooth Jazz Festival Mallorca 2012

In search of the beautiful moments of life there are always opportunities to hold it for a short time. One of those moments was the Smooth Jazz Festival, which first took place in Sa Coma, on the beautiful east coast of the Spanish island Mallorca. The exclusive ambience of the Protur Biomar Gran Hotel & Spa, a 5-star hotel was the awesome venue of this remarkable event.

Despite the not to be underestimated costs by air travel, hotel stay and tickets a surprisingly large number of smooth jazz fans participated in this highlight at this breathtaking place. All brought with them a good mood because they had the occasion to see many friends from last year. With world-class artists such as Uné, David Benoit, Jeff Lorber, Marc Antoine and Warren Hill did nothing to be desired.

Whom alone the appearance of the artist was not enough, could deepen the contact in intensive talks to his idol. Even the great weather, excellent food and fine drinks rounded out the well-being. The program of Friday night opened the agile saxophonist Eric Darius with Settin’ In Off from his album On A Mission (2010). For photographers, it was a difficult task to keep him in the picture, because not only during this piece, but throughout the entire performance, he found himself in motion.


Dreaming In Colour – The Dream Merchant

The band’s name is just as colorful and brightly vibrant as their music. Dreaming In Colour are bassist Kevin Ellis, drummer Chris Noonan and guitarist Joe Calandrino. Kevin founded the band with the desire to play rock jazz with a contemporary touch. Chris Noonan has studied with Dave Weckl and Jim Chapin in L.A. and follows the same style. Joe Calandrino holds a Bachelor of music performance from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and completes the trio.

During the recordings of their debut album The Dream Merchant (2012) the band was joined by keyboardists Jeff Lorber and Tim Pascoal, as well sax players Nelson Rangell and Eric Marienthal. In view of these jazz fusion greats one might not sure in which direction the train is driving, but the first notes allure with smooth jazz tones.

The up-tempo Chromatic smiles with a melodious theme but with Lorber on keys the song satisfies with prolific instrumental mastership. Yearbook keeps smooth jazz and jazz fusion in a grooving balance. Twilight Drive features Eric Marienthal on alto sax with a jazzy approach, but it’s Jeff Lorber who lets the song shine with nice phrasings on Rhodes piano.


Marcin Nowakowski – Shine

Although located in Poland saxophonist Marcin Nowakowski successfully spreads the word respectively his music around the world. Milestones of his solo career are the albums Smooth Night (2005) and Better Days (2009). Now he returns with his third project Shine (2011).

Anew Marcin is supported by top-notch musicians like Paul Brown (producer, guitar) and Jeff Lorber (producer, keyboards, piano, bass, and guitar), Jimmy Haslip (bass), Michael Thompson (guitar), Dave Weckl (drums), Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Ricky Lawson (drums), Gary Novak (drums) and many other.

While his previous albums didn’t get the deserved response, his new album Shine is destined to be his breakthrough in the States. After all, even the venerable jazz magazine Jazziz took notice from his album and reported about it with praise.


The Wayman Tisdale Story

Rendezvous Music/Mack Avenue released The Wayman Tisdale Story on DVD and CD on November 22, 2011. The documentary celebrates the life of Wayman, a three-time All-American, Gold Medal Olympian, former NBA star and world renowned jazz musician, who lost his battle with cancer on May 15, 2009.

The DVD features interviews with Wayman and his family, Michael Jordan, Toby Keith, Marcus Miller and Dave Koz, among others. The CD includes the previously unreleased track “Slam Dunk”, produced by Jeff Lorber and “Cryin’ For Me”, a song written and performed as a tribute to Wayman by Toby Keith.

An award winning feature-length documentary and accompanying 13 track CD celebrating the life and legacy of Wayman Tisdale, a three-time All-American, Gold Medal Olympian, former NBA star, and world renowned jazz musician. Featuring Wayman Tisdale’s final interviews prior to his passing in 2009 as well as exclusive interviews with Michael Jordan, Dave Koz, Toby Keith, Marcus Miller, A.C. Green, and Jonathan Butler.

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Galaxy

Trailblazing keyboardist/composer/producer Jeff Lorber revisits a sound he helped pioneer on his latest recording, Galaxy, set for release in Germany November 4th, 2011, in USA on January 31, 2012, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Yellowjackets’ bassist Jimmy Haslip joins him in this 21st century version of the Jeff Lorber Fusion along with saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter Randy Brecker, percussionist Lenny Castro, guitarists Paul Jackson Jr. and Larry Koonse, and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl. Haslip also co-produced the album and co-wrote five tunes with Lorber.

“What I like about working with Jimmy is he’s very intuitive,” says Lorber. “It’s often hard for me to wear so many hats so I really count on him for advice. I have a lot of confidence in him and really trust him. He has a good big picture sensibility, and he really loves the whole recording process, like I do.”

“Coming into the project, I felt like Jeff was plugged in with an explosive energy,” Haslip says. “He was writing up a storm. I just wanted to help in any way I could. Jeff is an incredible producer, and I learned a lot working with him.”

Following up on his GRAMMY®-nominated 2010 release, Now Is The Time, Lorber again culls from his early catalog but gives a fresh approach to some of his most highly requested compositions, including “Wizard Island,” “City,” “The Samba” and “The Underground.”

“Essentially this album is a part two,” Lorber says. “It features the same rhythm section, but it’s even more into the jazz fusion direction. It’s more energetic and the performances are tighter.”

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Patrick Bradley – Under The Sun

Thanks to Rick Scott of Great Scott Productions, I have a copy of keyboardist Patrick Bradley’s second album and I’ve taken a look at Patrick’s website to find out more about the man and his music.

Patrick is a self-taught musician who was born in and resides in Southern California. He is eager to perform music from “Under the Sun” live. As I said, this is his second album, following 2007’s “Come Rain or Shine”.

On the chunky opener ‘Straight Path’ I can already draw parallels with the work of co-producer Jeff Lorber. The staccato right-hand piano work over this busy bassline and sharp snare crack gets the head nodding. David Mann’s horn arrangement adds that extra touch of pizzazz.

Tony Moore on drums keeps things moving at a cracking pace on ‘Into the Sunset’ which I love particularly for the chorus section. The use of keyboards and guitar together in this section is very uplifting and I also like the way a kind of mystical Eastern feel creeps into the song just over halfway through. When the song reverts to the chorus again, that hook feels like an old friend. This song really is a grower.


Alexander Boynton Jr. – Doo Bee Doo Bop

Alexander Boynton Jr. is a Canadian bassist, composer and producer, who has his spiritual roots in the Gospel music. Inspired by Hugh Masekela, Les McCain or Roy Ayers he finally found his stage in the smooth jazz music.

For his debut album Doo Bee Doo Bop (2010) Alexander invited top-notch musicians of the smooth jazz scene like Jeff Lorber (keyboards), Tony Maiden (guitar), Tony Moore (drums), Rick Braun (trumpet), Paul Jackson Jr. (guitar), Lenny Castro (percussion), Phil Perry and Chelsea Nicole (vocals), and many more. Jeff Lorber produced, engineered and mixed the complete album.

With Beyond The Gate Alexander Boynton swears us to his fantastic world of music. Miguelito Valdez mesmerizes with his muted trumpet, while Jeff Lorber sets his statement on piano. The Latin jazz flavor is delivered by percussion legend Lenny Castro. A mysterious piece in the style of Eric Burden’s War.

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Terje Lie – Urban Vacation

Norwegian native Terje Lie decided to move to the U.S. like many other European musicians because of Europe’s cultural music desert, when it comes to smooth jazz or contemporary jazz. His decision was right on the money.

“It’s great to look back and think about all the different styles of music I’ve played and the wide variety of places I have performed in my life,” Lie says. “When I’m on stage performing or recording music in the studio, time disappears.”

Saxophonist Terje Lie started his solo career with the album Traveler (2007) featuring contemporary jazz greats Jimmy Haslip and Jeff Lorber. “Jeff and Jimmy enlightened me to many new angles and concepts that made this a fantastic experience for me. It’s been a great thing to record with them and the result is a seriously kickin’ album!”

Understandable that his sophomore album Urban Vacation (2010) was produced and performed by the same successful duo. Besides these musicians plays Tony Moore most of the drum parts. Additional guest-musicians are Mike Landau (guitar), Sharon Perry (vocals), Ernest Tibbs (bass), Jeff Olson (drums), Dwight Sills (guitar), Gary Meek (sax), and Ron King (trumpet).

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Jeff Lorber Fusion – Now Is The Time

Most of the readers will know Jeff Lorber as the exponent of smooth jazz. Smooth jazz oriented releases like West Side Stories (1994), State of Grace (1996), Midnight (1998), Kickin’ It (2001), Philly Style (2003), the side project Shades Of Soul (2004), 2005’s Grammy nominated Flipside and Heard That (2008) are a strong sign for these activities.

But if you look into the past of this artist, you will find the other side of Jeff Lorber. Philly raised and Berklee educated, Jeff Lorber recorded his first two albums for Inner City records: The Jeff Lorber Fusion (1977) and Soft Space (1978), both have been re-issued. While Jeff Lorber received high accolades by his smooth jazz fans, there were still voices, who wanted the old Jeff Lorber back.

Now Is The Time (2010) is Jeff’s fulfillment of this request. The albums is set for release on June 1, 2010, on Heads Up International, a division of Concord Music Group. Jeff’s new formation is build by bassist Jimmy Haslip (who co-produced with Lorber and Bobby Colomby), saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., and drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl. All musicians are best known and well-respected.

“We all had a vision of what we wanted this record to be,” says Lorber. “We wanted a return to the sound of the Jeff Lorber Fusion, but informed by everything I’ve learned since then. All of a sudden, people seem to be interested in hearing that again. They’re ready to hear musicians who can really play, really stretch the envelope with their technique, with their songwriting, and with harmonic structure.”

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