If you read my review of the Portland, Oregon saxophonist’s ‘Sunshine Alley’ album from 2002, you’ll understand why I was so excited to have the chance to write about the latest release ‘It’s All Right Now’.

In 2011, the sound has changed a great deal and my first impression of the upbeat opener ‘Walk Away’ is how instantly appealing and commercial it is. The fact that keyboard and production wizard Jeff Lorber is involved is never going to hurt its chances. This should get massive airplay. It’s appropriate that a saxophonist delivering funky grooves should record a tribute to one of the true greats. ‘Maceo!’ (don’t forget that exclamation mark) is just that; a shout out to a funk master. Everything about this song is right – the sax lead, the chanting horn backing, the chugging rhythm section, sweet rhythm guitar and a nicely retro organ sound. Love, love, love this!

‘Back to Mississippi’ has the same strong alto sound but a much more relaxed feel. It makes me think of the classy productions that The Crusaders were wowing us all with in the 1970’s. I like the retro feel and chant vocals on the funky title track. The groove is really in the pocket and you’ll swear you hear Wilton Felder’s sound here. This has all the elements that got me hooked on jazz-funk 30 years or more ago. Addictive.

Lamb shows off his vocal prowess on ‘I Can’t Quit Her’. The sax is put away and the lyric really is the star of this subtly soulful ballad. That sweet alto is back on ‘Sweet Tea’, which is a nice, lazy, groove-laden piece of instrumental funk and the first single from the album. Listen for those Wilton Felder moves again. Radio should be behind this one all the way.

‘Your Thang’ has the more up-to-date, busy kind of jazz-fusion sound that characterises much of Jeff Lorber’s work – and I adore it. It’s a dancer, pure and simple. You’ll feel that goodtime funk on ‘Get Wid It’, with a sax hook that instantly reminds you of a classic jazz-funk number (don’t ask me which, my mind just went completely blank). The cheeky little chant vocals should make you smile too.

The treatment of Bill Wither’s beautiful ‘Grandma’s Hands’ is very moving and I’m grateful to have been re-introduced to a song that I’ve not listened to much over the years. It totally belongs here on this soulful set of songs. I’ve already talked of Jeff Lorber’s involvement with this album and his touch is evident on the funky, energetic closer ‘Fuse’. I don’t know but I’m sure it’s Alex Al’s bass I hear as the sax and trumpet trade licks. I totally adore this song as it’s a great dancer with the crispest rhythm you’ll hear and the perfect blend of retro and modern sounds. It swings like crazy! Your only option is to move the chairs back and put it on repeat…

Over the past couple of years, I’ve hugely enjoyed the way that contemporary jazz artists have moved from ‘smooth’ and back to funk and the groove so many of us loved in the 1970’s and 80’s. I love the way that Jeff Lorber has aided and abetted the massively talented Patrick Lamb in building a bridge back to those funky days. The choice of songs, the cast of musicians and the soulful feeling this CD encapsulates combine to deliver the ‘world class record’ he’s been waiting for. The timing is perfect. It’s all.. right now!

Lovers of real jazz and funk, take a look at Patrick’s website.


Patrick Lamb Productions Producers – Patrick Lamb/Jeff Lorber/Steve Dubin/Bobby Colomby