JEFF LORBER FUSION, GALAXY

Back in the late 70s, the JL Fusion band struck a chord with listeners who dug the band’s sonic pyrotechnics and a fiery young saxophonist named Kenny Gorelick who morphed into Kenny G. That aside, Lorber’s signature sound hasn’t changed much over the years, a percussive electro-keyboard sound rooted in deep bass and punchy grooves, and it’s that familiarity that continues to make him so listenable and keeps him in current demand as a producer and player.

Sharply co-produced by Lorber and Yellowjacket’s bassist Jimmy Haslip, “Galaxy” (Heads Up) rekindles the group’s original fire with a terrific new band (and tunes to match) that includes saxophonist Eric Marienthal, percussionist Lenny Castro, trumpeter Randy Brecker and spot-on input by Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl who alternate on drums.  The up-to-date sound is impressively gut rumbling but when you have speedball tracks like “Live Wire” and “Big Brother” paired with high-quality remakes of “City” and Wizard Island” the result is a mix that’s infectious, and “Galaxy” deservedly keeps Lorber in the bullseye of the contemporary jazz scene. (11 tracks; 55:36 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: JEFF LORBER FUSION, GALAXY

Friday, February 24, 2012

JEFF LORBER FUSION, GALAXY

Back in the late 70s, the JL Fusion band struck a chord with listeners who dug the band’s sonic pyrotechnics and a fiery young saxophonist named Kenny Gorelick who morphed into Kenny G. That aside, Lorber’s signature sound hasn’t changed much over the years, a percussive electro-keyboard sound rooted in deep bass and punchy grooves, and it’s that familiarity that continues to make him so listenable and keeps him in current demand as a producer and player.

Sharply co-produced by Lorber and Yellowjacket’s bassist Jimmy Haslip, “Galaxy” (Heads Up) rekindles the group’s original fire with a terrific new band (and tunes to match) that includes saxophonist Eric Marienthal, percussionist Lenny Castro, trumpeter Randy Brecker and spot-on input by Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl who alternate on drums.  The up-to-date sound is impressively gut rumbling but when you have speedball tracks like “Live Wire” and “Big Brother” paired with high-quality remakes of “City” and Wizard Island” the result is a mix that’s infectious, and “Galaxy” deservedly keeps Lorber in the bullseye of the contemporary jazz scene. (11 tracks; 55:36 minutes)

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