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Charging out US 264 from Greenville toward Wilson, the speed limit rises and gets set by "Little John" Roberts tapping time as Jeff's clamoring chords fill in the blank spots.  Jerry Hey takes charge of the horn arrangements, flinging flugelhorn with Dan Higgins and Gary Meeks on tenor sax. The composition's polyphonies give this and the rest of the compilations on the CD a sort of big band sound that lends itself to an 'out of the studio' essence.  While Bill Reichenbach is blowin' 'bone, Jeff switches back and forth from acoustic to electronic sonics as my off duty left foot attempts CPR on the dead pedal.  By the time Jeff hits the second stanza, this feel good tune reaches its full aptitude urging you to twist the volume knob just a little bit more to the right. "Gigabyte" is 40 megabytes of upbeat finger popping. The hard-edged melody adjunct to Jeff's left hand comping, processes "Gigabyte" into jazzy, good time party music.

Album Cover

Under Wraps

Gigabyte

Life, Love and Jazz are all the same...

When improvised

Not to review redundantly, but it seems that Jeff Lorber has got me again with his new CD Philly Style. On this, his Narada Jazz label debut, Lorber and co-producer Steve Dubin comes up with more grooves than you can shift a stick at.  Both growing up in Philadelphia, the continued collaboration makes rhythmic sense. Baked at medium to high temperature, sprinkled with the seasoning of old style fusion and modern day R&B, Philly Style will surely make an up shift move on the jazz charts as fast as you can do the first to second gear change.  With a groove this smooth, I'll be hard bopped and pressed to keep myself out of the courtroom until that Lorber groove subsides for a while. Jeff Lorber's last outing, "Kickin' It" was so full of persuasively catchy riffs and grabbing hooks that I ended up driving myself into two speeding tickets within two months.   

From what I've read here on the net, Philly Style has been sliced from the same loaf of bread.  So… with my license in serious jeopardy now, I mustered up the courage to step into my local Circuit City for a salty bite. I cross my fingers, walk up to the counter sweating and nervous about the driving predicament I'm placing on myself, then run out to the slot that sits between the volume knob and bass adjustments.

After an anxious key turn, my Pioneer swallows Philly Style whole and the groove begins burping from the Bose again.  At 3 am, we set out for autocrossing near Petersburg Virginia. Track One comes from "Under Wraps" souling for all the world like Snakebite from Kickin' It.  Horns start blowing, bass begins bouncing, piano plink plunks and my court shocked wallet flinches from the last jazz assault from Jeff Lorber.

Track One comes from "Under Wraps" souling for all the world like Snakebite from Kickin' It.  Horns start blowing, bass begins bouncing, piano plink plunks and my court shocked wallet flinches from the last jazz assault from Jeff Lorber.

After a body rock or two, we turn toward the spring time's morning moon.  Back road bombardiering to beat the band till two lane meets four, Jeff with his piano puts motive to the form of what's to come. Under Wraps is a funky little tune. Right out the box, Alex Al carries the bass line like a mine truck hauling dynamite. Smooth and easy! Jeff tops the tag and lets the clutch out on his keyboard, bringing Under Wraps out in the wide open while I pop my stuff into first gear at the light and head west toward I-95 north. I pull back the top of this Civic to allow cool air to meet cool jazz as piano phrases poke from under speaker covers. This is a good 'through the park' jam with a medium paced, rhythmically methodic melody that asks for the slow roll. I oblige the cut by restricting the rotations of my white lettered tires. Ron King on Flugelhorn joins Jeff's usual entourage of Gary Meeks, "Little John" Roberts, Lenny Castro, Tony Maiden, and Alex Al. The addition of a 'horn section' throughout the CD makes for a totally different feel on this project, adding chromatic chord changes and complex layering that separates Philly Style from what preceded it.

I sure hope you like riding with me because "Gigabyte" will make you click your seatbelt down. No more creep cruising 'cause the bop, bounce and boggy of track two will sure 'nuff put the pep into any step. The first single released off the CD, Gigabyte has got my tach wound as tight as Robin Hood's bow.