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Jazz- Fusion keyboardist Jeff Lorber and bassist Jimmy Haslip Step It Up for their latest Release

Reviewed by Lee Jarmon

Jeff Lorber and Jimmy Haslip

Jeff Lorber and Jimmy Haslip

For over 40 years, Grammy- award winning keyboardist, composer, and producer Jeff Lorber, has been highly acclaimed as one of the iconic pioneers of fusion. He along with his longtime colleague and friend Jimmy Haslip (The Yellow Jackets), have played and tour together for many years. For a few years, Grammy-award winning bassist, composer, and producer Jimmy Haslip collaborated with Jeff on some of their previous projects. Together they perform as “The Jeff Lorber Fusion.” Their latest album titled “Step It Up,” was released October 2, 2015, by Heads Up International, a division under Concord Music Group. It peaked to # 23 on the top 50 smooth jazz charts (www.smoothjazz.com ). Step It Up features a few of the best world-class musicians of all times. Featured on this project are two former members of the jazz-fusion super group “The Yellow Jackets.” Those two members include saxophonist Bob Mintzer and guitarist Robben Ford. Also featured are guitarists Michael Thompson and Paul Jackson, Jr., percussionist Lenny Castro, drummers Ash Soan, Gary Novak, and Vinnie Colaiuta, David Mann on horn arrangements and many more (www.allmusic.com). Two of the songs titled, “Get Up” and “Mustang,” are a mixture of contemporary jazz, funk, and fusion. Between Lorber and Haslip, they composed some of the most intricate melodies and riffs that you could never imagine. Some of the movements that were written are also performed on some of the odd-time intervals. Their chemistry, technique, and stage presence it what sets them aside from other acts.

Jeff Lober Fusion "Step It Up"

Jeff Lober Fusion “Step It Up”

Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1952, Jeff began playing piano at four years old. In his teens, Lorber started playing with a few local R&B bands. It wasn’t until he attended Berklee College of Music where he began to pursue jazz. After graduating from college, he decided to pursue music professionally. According to Jeff’s website, “The Jeff Lorber Fusion” was formed in the late 70s, as he relocated to Portland, Oregon. In 1977, the group released their first self-titled album (www.jefflorber.com). At that point, he had become a prominent figure in the jazz fusion genre. Now at 63, Jeff continues doing what he does best which is performing, writing, and producing. Currently, The Jeff Lorber Fusion is touring to promote their newest album. Step It Up is undoubtedly a one- of- a- kind album.

 

Sources:

www.jefflorber.com

www.allmusic.com

www.smoothjazz.com

www.popmatters.com

www.somethingelsereviews.com