Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing three heavyweights in the genres of contemporary jazz, smooth jazz, and R&B. While each genre isn’t solely associated one to each musician, they all shine in those areas (their expansive musical careers attribute to that).
Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb, and Everette Harp make up the band, Jazz Funk Soul. They released their self-titled CD on 24 June 2014 and it is superb. Each track not only brings the individual talents of each musician, but collectively creates an exciting blend of contemporary and smooth jazz elements. The session musicians that join them are heavy weights in their own right and are known as powerhouses in the NYC area.
Ten tracks make up this stellar release, with the current single being “Serious Business”
Speed of Light
We Were There
While I already have a few favorites on this tracklist, I encourage your take a listen for yourself, I’m sure you’ll gain a few if these genres are favorites of yours.
I had the pleasure, along with my recording, biz partner, and friend, Dan, in seeing Jeff Lorber Fusion at Rams Head On Stage, in Annapolis, MD tonite.
The tour is to showcase tunes from his Grammy nominated release “Now Is The Time”, a CD that brings back the feel of the world renowned hits from the days of the original Jeff Lorber Fusion, and a great CD it is.
It’s always a pleasure to see Jeff when he comes to town, whether he is the solo act on the bill or as part of another tour (saw him in ’09 as part of the Guitar and Saxes Tour). The show started promptly at 8pm to a full, and enthusiastic house. The band was a quartet comprised of the following musicians:
Jeff Lorber: electric keyboard, synths, grand piano
Ron Jenkins: electric bass
Mark Prince: drums
Eric Marienthal: sax
Though I would have loved to see the original studio musicians, Will Kennedy and Jimmy Haslip (drums and bass, respectively), of The Yellowjackets, this band tonite was tight!
The opening tune was Water Sign from the 1979 release, Water Sign. Effortlessly executed, it was a great number to open up with. Jeff’s Yamaha S90 ES keyboard sounded great throughout the entire concert.
Following Water Sign, was Chinese Medicinal Herbs, also from the Soft Space release. Of course, the concert versions are always on point. Very nice flow on this live rendition, capturing the feeling of the original recording and the re-release on Now Is The Time.
The third track in the set was Dr. Moy, from the current release. Again, nicely done. Mark Prince, a DC native, was smokin’ on drums. They all did a show last night at DC’s Blues Alley, and Jeff mentioned that it was only Mark’s second time working out with them (surely Jeff was being facetious…hah!).
I played in a band once that did a few Jeff Lorber cover tunes, cause we are all big fans. The next song in the set is one, after hearing it, made us “just say no” hahah! Surreptitious, from the release He Had A Hat, was flat out “hot” (understandably so, since Jeff introduced it as being a favorite of his). This one had people moving, despite its fast tempo.
The famous Toad’s Place was the next track. Always a crowd pleaser, this was very nice. Eric Marienthal has done tons of session and tour work with Jeff, and was the sax player for Chick Corea’s Elektric Band for years. Now THAT’S a lot of fusion!
The track that followed, Mysterious Traveler, is from the recent release and was definitely a nice add to the set list. Ron Jenkins sounded great on this tune.
The next selection was The Underground, from one of my favorite JL CD’s, Worth Waiting For. I was glad to hear them do this one, and though it wasn’t one of my favorites from that CD, I’m was glad to see them rep a track from that release.
Next up was another well known track from the early JLF days, Raindance, from the 1979 release, Water Sign. Here’s a pic of Jeff telling a well known story about the track.
Those who are Jeff Lorber fans may have heard about the day he was driving down the street and heard his tune under a rap track – the artists Lil’ Kim, Lil’ Cease and The Notorious B.I.G. (better known as Junior M.A.F.I.A), from Lil’ Kim’s debut release The track is “Crush On You” (1997).
Ironically, look what was playing as soon as I was on my way home:
Of course, the original version was all class, and to top it off, it was actually a medley with JL’s cover of Rufus and Chaka Khan’s hit, Ain’t Nobody. The crowd was up once again, giving a standing ovation to the official end of the set.
Of course, their had to be an encore. They came back to do The Samba and Tune 88 from the releases, Soft Space and Water Sign, respectively.
I got a chance to chat with Jeff for a minute after the show. Always cordial to converse with the fans, we got a chance to talk about the recent show in CT, which I was trying to get to, but didn’t make it. Jeff and I share a mutual friend Donna Talbot, a personal friend of Jeff’s, a FB friend of mine, who is a HUGE smooth jazz fan. I mentioned that I was supposed to be up for that show, and he says, “Oh yeah, she told me u were coming…”. Cool guy.
If you are a fan of very cool, contemporary jazz with fusion undertones, I highly suggest you catch Jeff Lorber in concert. You will NOT be disappointed.
Always glad to have you tune in to The Sunday Soundtrack. I just got back from a VERY relaxing week in Cape Cod, MA. Pretty much slept until 11am at the earliest everyday and didn’t even realize how much I really needed it. It was a necessary chilled out time for sure.
Here we are at the end of August and the summer has FLOWN by. I’ll be sad to see it go but the time away has made it memorable. Today’s tracks are handpicked from a bunch of favorites and I hope they prove enjoyable. Last week I featured a track from Bebel Gilberto and this week I bring you her sister, Astrud. Anything that the Gilberto family releases always proves to be a good fit for The Sunday Soundtrack.
Incognito (my favorite group of all time) has released their latest CD “Transtlantic RPM” in June. I highly suggest you pick that up. While I’m not featuring any tracks from that release, I bring you two great tracks which have a vibe that fits this podcast, “I Can See The Future”, and the laid back, well known favorite to many, “After The Fall” (I’d like to see my band cover the latter track).
As always, I love to feature tracks by Afterlife, the definitive flow for all things chill out, this week it’s Cry (Sunset Dream Mix), from The Mix EP. Jeff Lorber brings us “Tuva”, a track created and inspired by the ancient art of “throat singing (listen to the intro) from the natives of Tuva, a land Jeff once visited. One of my favorite tracks in this edition is Aquanote’s (Gabriel Rene) “Nowhere (Pearl Speakeasy Remix)”. This track, compared to the original, is my definition of what a true remix is, and in addition, I really love how the elements of the track come together. You can here three other remixes of it here .
I trust you’ll enjoy all the tracks on the playlist, so without further adieu:
1 – I Can See The Future-Incognito/No Time Like The Future [Bonus Track] Amazon
2 – Nowhere (Pearl Speakeasy Remix) – Aquanote/Nude Dimensions, Volume 3 Discogs
3 – Alive (Instrumental) – J-Boogie’s Dubtronic Science/Mushroom Jazz 6 Om Records
4 – Cry (Sunset Dream Mix) – Afterlife/The Mix EP Discogs
5 – After The Fall – Incognito/100 Degrees And Rising Amazon
6 – L.O.V.E. And You & I (Dr. Ghe Mix) – Jazzanova/Jazzanova Remixed [Disc 1] Amazon
7 – Aquarian Angel- Blue Six/Aquarian Angel Amazon
8 – Certain Sadness – Astrud Gilberto/A Certain Smile, A Certain Sadness Amazon
9 – Handsome – Bathysphere/Bathysphere’s Daylight Shrubbery EP Official Site
10 – Tuva – Jeff Lorber/West Side Stories Official Site
As always, thanks for tuning in. It’s been a gorgeous, but busy day 1 back from vacation. My apologies for getting this out later than sooner. Kudos to my entire podcasting crew and you, the listeners. Enjoy.
As usual, glad to bring you another Sunday Soundtrack…a late Sunday Soundtrack, but one nevertheless. I hope you enjoy it.
All quiet on the Eastern front here. Coming off of a 3-day weekend, and even that was too short. I am starting a petition to Start Friday Over…u wanna sign it? 😉
I’m completing my offerings from the Obsession Lounge compilation, I hope they were enjoyable. Now it’s time to go on a track hunt…and I think it’s time for a fully laidback and mellow SSP….yes?
Here is the playlist, for your edification:
Sacra Samba (Original Mix) – Ante Rem/Obsession Lounge
Composite Five – Lounge Conjunction//Obsession Lounge
Hispanos In Space (Remix 2005) – Jam & Spoon//Obsession Lounge
Sand (Original Mix) – R. Eberspacher/Obsession Lounge
Dear Tryphonite – Nor Elle
Reflections – Jeff Lorber/Kickin’ It
Nia – Pete Belasco/’Deeper
Shadow Of Your Smile – Amel Larrieux/Lovely Standards
Like A Tattoo – Sade/The Best Of Sade
Get Back to Serenity – Vargo/Beauty
All tracks can be found at Amazon.com and iTunes
A special shoutout goes to the family of Wayman Tisdale, ex-NBA star turned smooth jazz bassist. The community will truly miss u. Thank you for your musical prowess and gift…
For those interested, I’d like to get you on my mailing list. Rest assured the list is Sunday Soundtrack specific – podcasts, contests, new artists, etc. If you’d like to be on it, please email me your address….
Enjoy your moments in positivity…hopefully we can all learn, for the better, those of negavity.