Lake Effect - Brighter Moments


Lake effect, a type of snow squall, is produced in the winter when cold, arctic winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapor which freezes and is deposited on the lee shores.  This effect occurs in many locations throughout the world, mostly in the Northern Hemisphere, but is best known in the populated areas of the Great Lakes of North America. That brings us to the Chicago based group Lake Effect consisting of their members Neil Artwick (keyboards) and Bob Davis (guitars). On their website, which is programmatically called, one can read information about their previous album An Ocean Away (2001).

Like planets on their orbit these in-demand musicians are assembling for a new project after a long hiatus. Really, 6 years is a long time. Robert and Neil have developed a unique blend of melody and groove within the smooth jazz genre, that excites players and listeners alike. In January 2007 original founder David Chackler decided to revitalize the legendary label, nuGroove Records. He has signed Lake Effect. This group was the launching pad for Michael Manson, Steve Cole and others, and now they are stepping out on their own nuGroove release entitled Brighter Moments (2007).

The album starts with The Funky One, a tune with a bluesy attitude. A Hammond B3 sound and Bob's guitar deliver the necessary retro feeling. The title Loops or New Loops (in the liner notes) is a rather technical term. Behind this term hinds a captivating song with a hooking loop.

The telephone area code 773 was formed in the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA in 1996. The area code has been popularized by a series of t-shirts with the slogan "773 FOREVER", a reflection of residents' strong sense of pride and attachment to the area and their identification with urban living over the suburbs. Lake Effect has now released the national anthem for this area revealing the buzzy city life.

Bucktown is featuring Frank Catalano on tenor saxophone. His latest release on Bright Records, Mighty Burner, was released in the U.S. on May 30 2006. Frank's raw style is tamed for this song right the way the song demands.

Cadillac Jack was a fact-based story about a woman's fight to get her rodeo star husband freed from a false murder conviction. It's also the title of a novel by Larry McMurtry. Lake Effect perform their own version of Cadillac Jack, adding a new feature to this illustrious person.

Green Dog Marco is featuring guitarist Nick Colionne. Based on a contemporary shuffle beat Neil Artwick develops on his keyboards an impressing theme with hooking power. Nick's and Bob's guitars jump in with quick runs.

The Samba infused Latin Nights is a pure invitation to dance or accompany the song with your own beats. Ruben Alvarez (percussion) and Khari Parker (drums) are perfectly performing in this dream team. Khari is drummer of Destiny's Child and was already reviewed on Mike Phillips' album Uncommon Denominator.

Western Bob is a well cooked meal in the tradition of Bruce Hornsby. In the limelight Bob and Neil creating the magic we love and are addicted to. Lema is a slow contemplative song, may be dedicated to the late golfer Lema.

Bob and Neil did also a great job on 10% More. Certainly radio-like but with an incredible perfection. Steve Eisen (tenor sax), Mike Halpen (trombone) and Rob Parton (trumpet) showcase a fantastic horn arrangement.

In The Universe features great sax player Warren Hill. He performs the melody with distinctive emotion and elegance. I remember his fantastic smooth jazz cruise with pleasure.

There is no reason not to like this albums, but 11 pros to buy it. This is solid and finest smooth jazz.




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  • Title: Brighter Moments
    Artist: Lake Effect
    Year: 2007
    Length: 0:44:37
    Genre: Smooth Jazz
    Label: nuGroove Records

    01 Funky One [3:57]
    02 Loops [3:59]
    03 773 [4:08]
    04 Bucktown [3:49]
    05 Cadillac Jack [3:52]
    06 Green Dog Marco (Featuring Nick Colionne) [3:51]
    07 Latin Nights [3:59]
    08 Western Bob [3:46]
    09 Lema [5:00]
    10 10% More [4:17]
    11 In The Universe [3:59]