Life, Love and Jazz are all the same...
Track three, "Regardless Of" is what I'd term a 'jazz ballad'.
Vocalist Naila adds just enough lip service to give this cut its best chance of crossing over into the realm of R&B. Alex Al bass' bombastic, throwing out street moves while Little John's snare snaps sound like tire to road reflectors my rear view mirror begins to vibrate to the vibe, Naila whispers softly about
gratitude and trust and I grunt gratefully that my
radar detector can be relied on. Little John on
drums drops it like it's hot and trips traps from skip
beat to back beat. Jeff improvises with empathetic
mpressions of the so far, so good. Running the
normal 10 above the limit and passing on the left, (no boy racer lane changes yet and just two highway pursuit vehicles perceived), I lean the bucket back one rear click, palm the top of the wheel at around 11:30, and float for a bit to let Naila give me the rest of Regardless Of rewardingly.
100 miles north from where we started, I roll to a rest stop along the same road's corridor course that Philly is on to pump some bass line and gas. Track four is playfully harmonious; a crowd pleaser. Giving "Philly Style" 'breathing room' through the holes in the kicker , windows and pulled back top had three
people stop by and ask who's pushing piano. With
around half to a quarter tank to full the fill-up, I back
the flow of fuel down to a trickle, pull the stereo remote
from my pocket and give out a Lorber sample. Philly
Style! Mobile at Mobil! Guest sax Richard Elliot and the
Lorber horn section hittin' traps so hard they made the wings on the "Flying Red Horse" flap. Jeff's comping back beat during the chorus brought out the flavor in full. By bridge time, Jeff plugs into a that 70s show sound for a note or two, Little John and the troupe tightens the gas cap click by click, and I lean against fender, head bopping as I pull a dead President from my wallet. Staccato like pixie notes bounce off the walls housing the cash register lady in as she checks for my card swipe or change exchange. A little more ta-dat-tats from the brass brood and soon we are merging back into the smooth lane again, sneaking in fill-in moves from the leisure lane to left.
Be ye Italian, British, German or from wince the phrase was coined, Afro-American, "Soul Food" can be cooked up by anyone. All you need is a dedication to roots, revelry and repast. Soul food must be a labor of love. You wrap it in tradition and serve with lots of laughter, solidarity and the deep repute for connections. The collaboration between Jeff and his fellow Philadelphians Steve Dubin and Little John Roberts works like cooks over a simmering pot stirred with brotherly love. Jeff and Steve even attended the same high school and cut chops in the same home town clubs. Track five's secret is the Goody Mob special sauce. Jeff says, "We used the chorus from Goodie Mob's
original and built a whole song around it". Written by
Terrance Barnett et al, for the movie of the same title,
Soul Food is a piano played backyard cookout. Naila
nuances the menu as the tune tunes up with Gary Meek
and Jeff note sharing the plate before them. Jeff whips
Wurlitzer all around during the second stanza and Jerry
Hey and the brass boys serve complimentary condiments
during the bridge connection. Everyone's up and hip moving and
I feel an electric slide coming on. Don't you?
Liberal, accommodating, non-judgmental. Track six is just that. One of my favorites on the CD, the first time I heard "Laissez Faire", I said to myself, "This sounds like some old ass Lorber". When I started clicking around, I found this initial thought to be as true as the track is smooth. Lorber says obligingly, "We went back to a fusion jazz style on those songs (this and track 8). While we were recording it, we kept on re-writing and re-mixing. The final result took us to some unexpected places." What wasn't unexpected was the way in which this track takes the edge off high speed driving. You can play this song over and over again and not feel as if we're running at 80 plus MPH. "Laissez Faire" has got vibe rollin' out like the coffee cup steam in the Lincoln LS
Commercial then he channels change to a four wheel drive Impreza sound-bite as the group bridges the gap. To me, the bridge in music can make or break a song. This one changes it like a reverse image of similar roses after which, a gripping for traction and a body roll left over right then back again, till the driving 'bass slides and additional licks' provided by Alex puts the chassis back in line again. Ever gone to a concert looking toward the stage and noticed the jazzed heads in front of you going back and forth, everyone covered with groove? Well, that's what this cut is allll about. Warm and flavorful but with a kick to keep you started.