Saturday, July 27, 2013

Jeff Lorber Fusion Hacienda Heads Up 2013

A legitimate jazz triple threat as producer, composer, and instrumentalist, Jeff Lorber has released the best contemporary jazz recording this year.

The mail person brought me tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, at least on August 27, 2013. Long considered one of the founding fathers of the fusion movement, Lorber has also been tagged as one of the godfathers of the radio format commonly referred to as smooth jazz. In an interview with Jeff in conjunction with the release of his Grammy nominated Now Is The Time, Lorber confided the term smooth jazz was probably not serving a useful purpose for the music or for many of his contemporaries and was in fact a radio format tanking as we spoke. The release of Now Is The Time marked the addition of bassist Jimmy Haslip into the fold and ever since Jeff Lorber has set about redefining and reclaiming a sub genre of jazz that was seemingly stored away in the musical witness protection program. The release of Hacienda is the culmination of the evolution of the Jeff Lorber Fusion into a tighter and more fully focused ensemble not afraid to take chances and more than willing to draw upon the cultural influences that would surround them while on tour in Europe and Asia.

Hacienda leaps to the head of the contemporary instrumental pack as it is an artfully done and precisely executed myriad of influences including the dance oriented British acid jazz scene. While house music is nothing particularly new for Jeff Lorber, the development and growth of the house scene seems to ironically parallel the creative growth of the Jeff Lorber Fusion. You can't tell the players without a scorecard but fortunately a familiar all star cast including Dave Weckle, Paul Jackson Jr. and Vinnie Colaiuta drop by for the party and their stay is more than welcome. Essentially a more focused trio effort in terms of lyrical front men we have critically acclaimed saxophonist Eric Marienthal assuming his rightful position as musical chameleon on the odd metered and ever so funky "Corinaldo." One of the more interesting if not totally unexpected numbers is a delightful reharm of the Frank Zappa tune "King Kong" which features violin legend Jean Luc Ponty and former Mothers of Invention member Ed Mann. An absolute smoker is the open ended jam "Raptor" which is as addictive in rhythm as it is subtle in groove.

Hacienda is the Jeff Lorber Fusion at their creative apex. The band pops with vitality and their compositions have grown exponentially with the end results showcasing this formidable band as cultural by products of their own invention.

The perfect recording? Pretty much!

Five_star_rating : Five stars ratings Stock Photo
While the release date is less than a month away, pre-orders are now being handled by Amazon.