Master of the keys Jeff Lorber is one of the busiest musician in smooth jazz history. The result of merits and high accolades of fans, critics and fellow musicians has a golden prosperous side. There is no other musician we talk and write about so often. You can listen to his sound on Mike Phillips' Uncommon Denominator, Jay Soto's Stay Awhile, Ray Fuller's The Weeper, Eric Marienthal's Just Around The Corner, Shilt's HeadBoppin, Gerald Albright's Groovology, Les Sabler's Sweet Drive, Alexander Zonjic's Seldom Blues, Michael Manson's Up Front and Just Feelin It, U-Nam's Back From The 80's and numerous more.

Jeff Lorber on your album is a guarantee for musical success. His solo projects always found the way to the charts. Smooth jazz oriented releases like West Side Stories (1994), State of Grace (1996), Midnight (1998)Kickin' It (2001), Philly Style (2003), the side project Shades Of Soul (2004) and 2005's Grammy nominated Flipside are one side of Jeff's personality, the other more jazzy side is showcased on He Had A Hat (2007). Currently many albums of his jazz fusion oriented period are re-issued like Jeff Lorber Fusion (1977), Soft Space (1978) and Private Passion (1989).

With Heard That (2008) Jeff Lorber returns to smooth jazz and R&B. "I have been a fan of all of the records he'd been doing in the urban jazz realm for years," Jeff says. "My last album He Had A Hat was more of a serious jazz exploration, and I wanted to record a more funky, R+B approach that would be modern, yet also have some of the funky sound and jazzy chord changes like the music from 1979's Water Sign which is one of my favorite albums. Songs on Heard That like 'The Bomb', 'Night Sky' and 'Gamma Rays' have these influences. There's also a strong blues influence, especially on 'Don't Stop and the title track."

Most of the album Lorber produced with Rex Rideout. Lorber comments: "The best part of recording Heard That was having the chance to work with and become friends with Rex, who generously brought his talent and perspective to the project. Jazz thrives on being a collaborative medium and working with Rex was for me was a great opportunity to learn and bring in new ideas."

The corona of musicians on this album is: Trumpeter Rick Braun, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., saxman Gary Meek, bassist Alex Al, drummers Mike White, Lil' John Roberts and Tony Moore, trumpeter Ron King, guitarist Darrell Crooks and Peak label mate and sax icon Gerald Albright among others.

The album starts with the funky burner Come On Up. The groovy combination of bass, keyboards and effects reminds me of Rene and Angela's Street Called Desire. A nice flashback to the days of the 80's. Jeff Lorber chose Amy Winehouse's popular Rehab for his uplifting rendition. Mixed by Paul Brown Jeff created with the support of Rick Braun, Gary Meek and Tony Moore an infectious dance floor runner.

Under the influence of 80's soul music Don't Hold Back offers Jeff's funky Rhodes groove and Rick Braun's rather short solo on flugelhorn. The soul ballade You Got Something features singer Phillip "Taj" Jackson, he is known as writer for Janet Jackson. Gamma Rays is Lorber's melodious approach to his jazz fusion roots. With Dave Weckl on drums and Gary Meek on flute two exponents of jazz fusion join Lorber on his trip to the past.

Don't Stop has that funky shuffle appeal we love by groups like Loose Ends and Soul II Soul. Vocalist Chelsea Nicole adds the right potion of R&B. Jeff don't hold back his fusion jazz heritage and let it explode, The Bomb. Gary Meek and Ron King build a great horn segment. What a finish with Jeff's Hammond B3 and Lil' John Roberts in excellent exposure on drums.

In a flowing run Jeff's Take Control caresses hearts and bodies of R&B fans. Mixed by Paul Brown and DC, Lauren Evans gives this song its female and magical touch. Her vocals are featured on albums by Grammy award winner Boney James, rock legend Mick Fleetwood, and revered hitmaker Barry Manilow to name a few.

You need some more funk? Then observe Night Sky. Jeff performs his elegant mastery on keys and wah guitar perfectly supported by Alex Al on bass and Gary Meek and Ron King's horn section. This funky attitude is also garnered by these musicians on the title track Heard That featuring Gerald Albright's sax.

Jeff Lorber's new album Heard That has a high potential to get his most successful album ever. This mixture of jazz fusion, smooth jazz and R&B is simply unbeatable.



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  • Album information:

    Title: Heard That
    Artist: Jeff Lorber
    Year: 2008
    Length: 0:45:27
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: Peak Records


    01 Come On Up [5:01]
    02 Rehab [3:17]
    03 Don't Hold Back [4:15]
    04 You Got Something [4:16]
    05 Gamma Rays [5:15]
    06 Don't Stop [4:46]
    07 The Bomb [5:30]
    08 Take Control [3:51]
    09 Night Sky [4:19]
    10 Heard That [4:56]