April 18, 2003

JAZZ-FUNK PIONEER JEFF LORBER RELEASES "PHILLY STYLE"

JAZZ-FUNK PIONEER JEFF LORBER RELEASES "PHILLY STYLE"

Keyboardist appears on "The Caroline Rhea Show," "Gigabyte" computing at radio


Seminal jazz-funk keyboardist Jeff Lorber released his sixteenth album today, his first for Narada Jazz. Philly Style captures the multihued sounds of Lorber's hometown of Philadelphia through compositions that are funky, jazzy, soulful, cosmopolitan, colorful, uplifting, soothing, intimate and lyrical without words, much like the historical city itself. Lorber launched the album release by performing on today's "The Caroline Rhea Show," which was televised nationally. The first radio single from the collection, "Gigabyte," continues to be amongst the most added tracks at smooth jazz radio and appears headed to the top of the charts.

Lorber produced Philly Style along with fellow Philadelphian Steve Dubin (Peter White, Richard Elliot), composed or co-wrote nine songs and recorded a cover version of hip hop outfit The Goodie Mob's "Soul Food." A meticulous orchestrater, Lorber filled the tracks up with the guitars of Tony Maiden (guitarist from Rufus), the bumping bass of Alex Al, the beats of drummer and Philadelphian "Little John" Roberts, the rhythmic swatches of Lenny Castro (percussion), and a robust, warm horn section lead by Jerry Hay. Sax aces Richard Elliot and Gary Meek make guest appearances. In addition to "Gigabyte," other standout cuts include the album opener "Under Wraps"; the urbane energizer "Philly Style"; the sophisticated sweetness of "Laissez Faire"; the aggressive, go for broke "Step On It"; the gentle and beautiful "When She Smiles"; and a fusionistic journey to "Serpentine Lane."

In the mid- to late 1970s, Lorber helped pioneer a contemporary sound that was all about the groove. It was jazzy R&B or funky jazz. When he first came upon the scene, Lorber fronted a band that topped the charts numerous times. Over the course of fifteen albums, the Grammy-nominated artist has risen to prominence as a bandleader, solo artist, musician, producer, songwriter and arranger. He's played with the finest artists in popular music and is mentioned alongside the likes of Grover Washington Jr., Herbie Hancock and George Duke in terms of the influence he had in forging and shaping a musical genre. Classically trained, Lorber's piano and keyboards voice is genre defying; his compositions have landed on the jazz, R&B/hip hop, pop and dance charts. Since launching his solo career in 1991, he has had three Top 10 albums (one went all the way to #1) and his last album spawned two #1 singles. Longevity and consistency are as much a part of Lorber's legacy as is his audacious approach to jazz and R&B.

Look for Lorber to hit the concert trail with his band in the coming months.

Posted by Peter Böhi at April 18, 2003 11:17 PM