Three time Grammy nominee, Jeff Lorber's new release, Galaxy, on Heads Up International, goes way beyond the confines of Smooth Jazz. By revisiting the 70's Jazz Fusion movement he helped pioneer, Lorber has co-produced one of his best recordings to date. So consistently powerful from beginning to end, Wine and Music Radio could not find a song to NOT play!
The album takes the musical style that Lorber experimented with on his last GRAMMY®-nominated CD, Now is the Time, and bumps it up a level with 11 exciting and energetic compositions performed by some of the biggest names in jazz today. Lorber, co-produced the project with bassist Jimmy Haslip co-founder of the Grammy award winning group the Yellow Jackets. Saxophonist Eric Marienthal joins them to make up the core of the band. Add the rythmic genius of drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting and Herbie Hancock) and you have what promises to be one of the best jazz instrumental releases this year. Guest appearances by trumpeter Randy Brecker, percussionist Lenny Castro, guitarists Paul Jackson Jr. and Larry Koonse, and drummer Dave Weckl are also noteworthy. Award winning mixer, Michael Brauer (Cold Play and John Mayer) mixed six of the tracks giving the album an exceptional edgy and contemporary feel.
The first track, "Live Wire," is a personal favorite. It blends a funky groove and a melodic keyboard flute line with solos from both Lorber and Koonse. "Big Brother" moves into a very soulful and contemporary groove, but keeps the jazz influence soundly in the forefront. The title track is a funk driven jazz number that features Marienthal's melodic soprano sax and one of Lorber's signature synth bass lines. Another highlight is, "Horace," dedicated to the great jazz pianist, Horace Silver who influenced Lorber's playing style. This cut has everything you want to hear from ripping jazz melodies to a funky upbeat groove. "The Samba," which is a Latin track as the name implies, has high energy rhythm provided by Colaiuta and Castro and a nice guitar solo from Koonse. The CD concludes with, "The Underground," on which Lorber's rhodes and piano parts are unmatched and Randy Brecker's trumpet solo shines. Ultimately, Galaxy is a brilliant release from one of the top Contemporary Jazz artists of our time. It is a consistent yet complex listening experience from the opening to the finish. Like fine wine it does not disappoint.
Pair Jeff Lorber's new release Galaxy with Pedestal Merlot 2007, $54 from Columbia Valley, Washington with a 94 point rating... Both the music and the wine are a unique blend of styles and tastes. Rich and complex, yet pure and focused!