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Jonathan Widran ended his review of Philly Style thusly, "It's kind of hard to imagine that any Jeff Lorber disc isn't truly Philly-styled, but it's nice to see he's finally acknowledging that influence more directly."  That said, I sure did enjoy this ride north and autocrossing with you today.  If you'd like to find out more about autocrossing, you'll have to wait till the next review or search for it on the web.  Search no further though if you're looking for groovy licks and some serious sounds.  Philly Style sure has it going on.  Till next time y'all. Dion.

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

When improvised

Album Cover

Uncle Darrow's

When She Smiles

Step On It

Serpentine Lane

Speaking about accommodations, "Step On It" has me feeling high on high octane and cutting moves across traffic lanes like a lumberjack hacking Ponderosa Pines.   Track seven is hard to keep up with in this morning's traffic full of fools and old ladies. I do my best interpretation of The Fast and The Furious and come up just short of slipping under a Freightliner for flogging a Ford. 

Gary Meeks and Jeff trade 8 counts of fusionistic fun back and forth till Jeff jumps to the front of the pack for the second stanza and bridge. Guest rider Robbie Nevil keys additional keyboards and acoustically assists Alex Al's rousing bass line and Jeff's flying fingers. "Step On It" has a groovishious, high-stepping mindset to it and the resulting sonics sounding across the cabin space help keep my tach ticking above the three thousand mark.

One look in the rear-view tells me that I'm not the only one spurring their horse off into the sunrise as three more subcompacts sashay their way onto my bumper and close ranks as tightly notedas the toots from the horn section.  Feeling likethe Pied Piper or Orpheus 'bout now, the use of the replay button has got the four of us steppingover 25 miles no sweat before I decide to come off of it and let the train go by.  Just in time too…

"Uncle Darrow's" must have been a hiding spot for Jeff a while ago because I just had to play a game of 'seek don't find' with one of Virginia's finest. Radar detectors are illegal here so grabbing all the brakes I dare, nose dropping like drum sticks and Ron King trumpet blasts, I slow down and peek from behind a Fruehauf to see if the coast is clear again. Damn sure don't need another speeding ticket do we. After easing back into it and setting things to uncle Darrow's cruise control, sax and horn meet center cymbal tings and Lenny Castro shaking so many kinds of percussion toys that it sounds like a three legged china cabinet bouncing across carpet. Jeff's complimentary comping quiets my nerves and constricted cones and rods of my out looking eyes. Tag's time over, Jeff sets his groovishious equipment to Fender Rhodes and my soul to bouncing as we bound over the rolling hills of Central Virginia. This IS my favorite cut on the whole CD with its ultra-smoothness and sensuality. Jonathan Widran of Jazziz Magazine says, ""Uncle Darrow's" captures the classic Rhodes centered Crusaders flavor with crisp horn harmony duality."  Do it Darrow!

Track nine takes it down again another notch.Motor's purring now just over 2.5 thousand rpm, morning fog burning off, sunrise to my right, and southbound traffic to my left. "When She Smiles" is soft and luxuriously luscious. Gary Meeks improvises saxy fill-in spots under Jeff's piano playing and between Steve Dubin's drum programming and atmospheric synthesizing.  .

If Jeff and Steve added birds singing, fire crackling or sounds of bubbles bursting from champagne glasses in the background, it wouldn't be out of placeReflective resonations swoop down and across your earshot like feathers on the wind. I punch a Civic sized hole in the fog as this morning's sun warms the earth and my heart at the same time. I program the recall operation deep inside my Pioneer and let the track take hold of the rest of my dawn daydream.  Rolling out the throttle here where I-95 and 85 meet just short of the Petersburg exit, I do a cool down lap around the IHOP after an exit ramp evacuation.


Now… a little about autocrossing. This is a sport sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America where we travel around the Mid-Atlantic states to road racing courses, old abandoned airports or huge parking lots once a month and race each other through chicanes, high speed lane changes and other twists and turns all in the search of grip and balance. Using approximately 500 to a thousand traffic cones, the race coordinators map out a path that results in about a 1 mile "Serpentine Lane". 140 of us make it to Virginia Motorsports Park today and I pull up and prepare for my place on the grid pumping Philly Style's final track.

You know how we all have those special songs that we use to kick start our day or just assist us in setting that certain kinda mood don't you? Well, "Serpentine Lane" has just become my primary motivator for autocrossing. The cut pulls to the starting line reed squealing like two Goodyears scratching pavement for momentum.

Jeff makes go notes after the tag and Little John sets off slappin' skins with quads and ratamaques, cymbals splashing like rubber running through precipitous puddles. I make my first of four runs with the volume turned way up and feel my way through the course.  By the time I get to full speed after a quick left-right chicane, Jeff has his synth moaning like my Civic in a four wheel drift.  I fly through the first of two fast sweepers and heel and toe down through the gears into the turn around. By the time the Lorber group hits the bridge between choruses, Gary Meeks sucks sax like the air down my intake manifold and I start squeezing onto the gas, approximating the bombastic bass pedal boomed by Little John. As Jeff and I make a power move down the back stretch and pull up short at the cone leading into the 'bus stop', we go in and out while Alex's bass bumps "yes you can" . My time is not bad for the first run but still can't keep up with the faster paced vibrato of "Serpentine Lane". 

Run two. I follow the rubber strewn lane between orange cones as Jeff rips through "Serpentine Lane" again. I make better time as the navigating rhythm negotiates between my drop throttle oversteer and speed scrubbing understeer.  Runs three and four were much more controlled and quicker still once I figured out that the last cut off Philly Style had me kinda sideways. Hey… we came in fifth in class though which wasn't too bad huh?