(Narada – 2005)
by Paula Edelstein
Flipside is a 10-track mixture of acoustic and electric keyboard instrumentation by smooth jazz master keyboardist Jeff Lorber. Together with such masterful musicians as Gary Meek on saxophone, Ron King on trumpet, Paul Jackson, Jr. on guitar, Lenny Castro on percussion, Lorber treats his listeners to the Flipside of his musical talents. The set opens with “Ooh La La,” a very hip song that features the great synth work of Lorber in the intro and his ever-so-melodic piano riffs that speak to the heart. With its funky backbeat, percussive throbs and head bobbing vibe, this song is packed with the imagery of a great looking person making their way straight to your heart.
On “Everybody Knows That,” Lorber is joined by David Mann on saxophones and Paul Jackson, Jr. on guitar to help him realize this exciting musical vision. Lorber’s keyboard work runs the gamut of synth answers to the brassy questions of Mann’s horn arrangements to well-defined acoustic melody lines. Lorber’s writing skills, which combine old-school swing rhythms with contemporary smooth grooves and just the right dose of bebop elements, bring him full circle as a jazz master that has definitely taken his musical comments in a new direction. “By My Side,” is a great ballad that features the cello of Victor Lawrence and this string ambience will tug at your heart. The title track is a funky upbeat mix that finds Jeff in-the-pocket with Gary Meek on tenor sax and Ron King on trumpet.
This set rocks and shows that Jeff Lorber is not only a master of the groove but can truly deal his listeners a funky backbeat in odd time signatures built around an exciting rhythm section. I’m lovin’ it and you will too.