Berks Jazz Fest 2013: Jazz Attack

Friday night at 7pm, another audience favorite with Jazz Attack was due, this all-star band features Jeff Lorber on keyboards, Peter White on guitar, Rick Braun on trumpet and Richard Elliot on saxophone, the backing band consisted of Nate Phillips on bass, Randy Jacobs on guitar, Third Richardson on drums and Ron Reinhardt on keys. They started the show with Rick Braun entering from the rear, playing his trumpet, with the band picking up the groove on the stage, having the audience clap along, thus bringing things up to speed quickly. Next was Peter White doing one his songs, with Richard Elliot supporting him on sax. Then Jeff Lorber joined the stage to play his "Tune 88" from his Water Sign album, amply supported by the horn players, before the groove got heavier with "Rock Steady" featuring Richard Elliot on sax, segueing into "Move On Up" with some nice trumpet playing by Rick Braun, then going into "Boom Town" from his current In The Zone album. Then Rick Braun stepped into the spotlight to do his big hit "Notorious" on the flugelhorn, slowing things down after that with "The Good Life", a song he recorded on his Sings With Strings album with full orchestra. Peter White came back to get real serious, he played his great rendition of the Isley Brothers' "Who's That Lady", segueing into the Temptations' "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", taking off with an outstanding solo on his distorted sounding acoustic guitar. Then it was Jeff Lorber's turn again with the title track from his He Had A Hat album, followed by "Monserrat" from his Galaxy album, the grooving and complex fusion track had Rick and Richard play their horn parts, reading from sheets. To give the audience a bit of relief, Richard Elliot dug into his trademark song, "When A Man Loves A Woman". I guess he must have stopped counting how often he did this one, but he injects each time so much emotion into the song that it never sounds tired, consequently his great performance brought the house down. Peter White did "Costa Rica" from his current release, followed by another hard hitting fusion track by Jeff Lorber, followed by "Shake Your Body Down To The Ground", a song that will appear on the soon to be released BWB album called Human Nature. Then, as a little surprise, they threw in some straight ahead jazz with "A Night In Tunisia" that showed what outstanding jazz players both Rick Braun and Richard Elliot are, which contrasted nicely with the hard hitting funk of "Keep On Truckin'" that followed after that, the song featured a great guitar solo by Randy Jacobs and had Richard Elliot groove on the EWI. The show was closed with the Peter White classic "Bueno Funk" with some nice interplay between Peter and the horn players. Despite the fact the band had played for well over two hours, the audience demanded an encore, so they came back to wrap up this great show with "Grazing In The Grass". I have seen the Jazz Attack show many times, still I am well entertained by the awesome musicianship by each player on stage, in addition they change the program all the time, so this show always is a sure bet.