Jeff Lorber – Philly Style
(Narada Jazz – 2003)
by Ray Redmond
Heeeee’s Baack! – Again! The multitalented performer / writer / producer’s newest release Philly Style was inspired by a number of converging facts… It’s Lorber’s hometown. Album co-producer Steve Dubin also hails from Philly as does the drummer “Little” John Roberts. Roberts uses his own brand of drumsticks that he calls “Philly Style”. Lorber wrote or collaborated on nine of the ten songs, including the funky Gigabyte which is to be released as the first radio single. Also of interest is Lorber’s cover version of The Goodie Mob’s Soul Food on which Gary Meek serves up some sweet and soulful sax and Naila croons the sumptuous chorus.
Although the release does not present anything startlingly new from the smooth jazz guru, it delivers the quality and enjoyment that you expect from Lorber CD’s. Joined by Richard Elliot and Robbie Nevil, Jeff successfully captures the “Philly” sound and ingrains it with some of the familiar “Lorber” free and funky style we know (and love). Jeff continues to show his chops on each successive release, always pleasing and managing not to fall into any of the ‘ruts’ that some smooth jazz artists seem to love so much.