Good evening folks!
Well right now as i’m writing it’s evening here in Sweden 😉
Anyway now it´s time for a really big personal favorite the great pianist/keyboardist Jeff Lorber. I´ve been fortuned to seen him live 4 times and hopefully more to come! Thou i don´t have all his albums, only(?) 10 or 11,depends on how you count, but on the other hand since i discovered him i´ve bought his last 10 or 11 albums… I’ll explain later.
If he shows up in town or club near you don´t waste the opportunity of not going cause if you go i promise you´ll never ever regret it!! If you happens to not believe me ask my brother who, i more or less had to drag to the club first time we saw him! When i first saw that Jeff was coming i told my brother “hey you gotta go you wouldn’t wanna miss this for the world” yet he hesitated. Continued to push him still not sure…it wasn’t until i was on my way to the club he called me and said he was coming as well. After the show he was so pleased i like “dragged him”!
Jeff Lorber Fusion 2006 left to right: Gary Meek (saxophone), Ricky Lawson (drums), Tom Kennedy (bass), Jeff Lorber (Keyboards)
However one thing “bothered” him and it was the fact that he had never heard of the sax player Gary Meek. According to my brother he was almost as good as his biggest hero Michael Brecker. Yes my brother used to play the saxophone himself. He´s so worth seeing and hearing 😀
Picture above shows the line up for the Jeff Lorber Fusion tour in 2012 with Sonny Emory as drummer. This tour is the last one who was passing by my city.
Born in Philly, ok that´s short for Philadelphia, 1952 to jewish parents but i don´t know if he´s jewish himself and honestly i couldn’t care any less!! Very well he began playing piano when he was 4 and after been playing with some r&b bands in his teens he went on to study at Berklee College of Music, offcourse he did are there ANY musicians in the U.S. who haven´t been studying there?!
Anyway while at Berklee he began to discover and develope his love for jazz. In 1972 we moved to Vancouver, Washington and yes i did write Vancouver in Washington cause obviously Canada is not alone having a town called that :))
His first own group was called Jeff Lorber Fusion and they released their first self-titled album in 1977, picture below. By the way doesn’t Jeff looks a lot like a younger version of actor Robert de Niro?!
Under this moniker he made 5 studio albums before he wanted to go solo but during this years he introduced a young saxman called Kenny Gorelick more famous as Kenny G. This was on the 1980:s album called “Wisard Island” picture below.
The sound on these early records was funky influenced by other 70: fusion pioneers as Return to Forever, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock´s Headhunters.
Besides playing the piano Jeff also performed on keyboards as Fender Rhodes and different analog syntheseizers where the favorites were Minimoog and Sequential Curcruit Prohpet 5. In the mid 80:s he moved towards a more pop/r&b sound with vocalists thou it’s not his best period but i’ll give you a bonus video with Jeff from 1985 featuring a young, at that time, unknown sax player called Dave Koz with a heavy mullet!!
He became quite succesful with this but in the 90:s his sound became more jazz again and nowadays the albums are called Jeff Lorber Fusion again and he still have some vocals ocassionally. Last album under the name of JLF came 2013 and it’s called “Hacienda” pic below.
So how many albums do i have with Jeff 10 or 11? Ok let me explain under the name of Jeff Lorber/Jeff Lorber Fusion i got 10 and number 11 is Jeff together with guitarist Chuck Loeb and sax player Everette Harp and they call themselves Jazz/Funk/Soul picture below. Thou Jeff is featured but it’s not “his” project.
Left to right: Jeff, Chuck Loeb, Everette Harp
This time i´m gonna give you two videos to enjoy, one with Jeff solo and another one when Jeff gets company by a jazz-legend…who is hanging backstage and get’s in the mood of playing and kinda ask “hey guys mind if i jam with you?” Who wouldn’t wanna jam with THE George Duke!!
Song is taken from the “Galaxy” album released in 2012 and is called “Big Brother” picture below.
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