While humanity has long marveled over the Seven Wonders of the World, super-group Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp, easily stand as high priests in the temple of contemporary jazz. These three colossal architects of the contemporary jazz scene have collectively sold millions of records, amassed numerous prestigious industry awards and produced or shared the stage for some of the biggest names in music including U2, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Stan Getz, The Isley Brothers, Billy Joel and Chaka Khan, to name a few.
Just in time for summer, Lorber, Loeb and Harp have crafted the perfect soundtrack, Jazz Funk Soul. After spending time on the road with one another touring, transferring the magic from the stage into the studio seemed like the next logical step. “Making this album seemed like a natural extension of the fun and high level of creativity that was taking place on stage each night,” shares Chuck Loeb. “I love this aggregate of players,” declares saxophonist Everette Harp. “We are very different personalities, but we all respect where each other comes from.” Pianist Jeff Lorber adds, “After collaborating on the road, it became clear that the chemistry and complimentary talents we had should be used to make a great record. This is the first time I’ve recorded in a band situation with other leaders and I found it to be a rewarding experience.”
Jazz Funk Soul is like a cosmic musical reaction resulting in the perfect amalgamation of jazz, R&B, soul and funk that swings from the opening note to the album’s final chorus. Each a dazzling virtuoso, accomplished bandleader, composer, arranger and producers in their own right, Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp join forces to produce ten memorable originals with sublime arrangements that defy category. Jazz Funk Soul is replete with irresistible melodies, unforgettable grooves, exhilarating solos and charged interplay.
Jazz Funk Soul opens with the percolating, buoyant, funky and rock-tinged “Speed of Light,” penned by Jeff Lorber. The shimmering number sets the scene for a riveting musical expedition with all the right nuances for a thrilling ride. “Swingette” is a spicy and bluesy composition that allows the band to stretch out and have some fun. Everette Harp confides, “The opportunity for expression on this CD was so immense. The songs lend themselves to so much freedom to explore and challenge our creativity when soloing. Playing with Jeff and Chuck helps me to be even more creative.” Just as the title suggests, “Adrenaline” finds the threesome shifting gears and kicking it up a notch. This Lorber burner builds to a break-neck tempo without losing its intense fire.
Jazz Funk Soul marries the best elements of diverse musical styles to create a cohesive set and brilliant musical dialogue between the trailblazers. “Everyone contributed songs and helped to bring a little taste of what each of us do into the mix,” shares Harp, who co-wrote the composition “Silent Partner” with Chuck Loeb. The pensive ballad shines light on Harp’s wistful and emotive saxophone and Loeb’s sustained and cascading guitar lines. Harp and Lorber collaborated on the blissful disco-tinged and sweat-inducing “Telephone.” If you do not get on your feet and feel revived after this number-you had better call a doctor! Jeff Lorber’s buttery keys add just the right reprise in all of the right spots. He shares, “I think there was a friendly competition which helped get the best writing and performances out of each of us.”
Jazz Funk Soul also features the intoxicating “We Were There,” which adds an element of romance while the driving R&B flavored “Line Drive,” commands your attention from beginning to end. “Serious Business” affirms that Lorber, Loeb and Harp have an agenda and that it is all in the groove! This hard-swinging and tight arrangement makes it the perfect song for the album’s first single. The mellow and lyrical “D.C.” is another winner while the percussive, bluesy and soul drenched “Raccoon” brings the album home on a high note.
A testament to their respect within the music community, Jeff Lorber, Chuck Loeb and Everette Harp call upon a few friends for their all-star gathering homecoming. Jazz Funk Soul features special guest saxophonist Dave Mann, percussionist Lenny Castro, bassists James Genus, John Patitucci and Jimmy Haslip, drummers Brian Dunne, Lionel Cordew and Gary Novak, guitarist A. Ray “The Weeper” Fuller, trumpeter Till Brönner and flutist Mark Hollingsworth.
Pianist, composer and producer Jeff Lorber has been a major innovator on the creative music scene for over three decades. Along with maestros Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample and Bob James, Lorber is a groundbreaking Fender Rhodes pioneer. Having produced for everyone from Dave Koz to Kenny G, the Grammy nominated pianist’s long running acclaimed ensemble, Jeff Lorber Fusion, was a major force in contemporary jazz’s early beginnings. The Berklee College of Music alums latest release is his Grammy nominated Hacienda.
A member of the world-renowned super-group Fourplay (along with Bob James, Nathan East and Harvey Mason), guitarist, composer and producer Chuck Loeb has had an enviable career that has spanned four decades. Few artists can boast to have worked with such diverse stars as Bob Dylan, Carly Simon, Anita Baker, Freddie Hubbard and Stan Getz (who happened to have been the best man at Loeb’s wedding!) Dubbed the “Clark Kent Of Jazz Guitar” by The New York Times, the in-demand producer has provided the Midas Touch for pianists Bob James and Keiko Matsui, singers Jon Lucien and Michael Franks, saxophonists Kim Waters and Gato Barbieri and fellow guitarist Larry Coryell, to name a few. The Grammy nominated Berklee College of Music graduate’s latest solo release is Silhouette.
Everette Harp’s soulful and trademark blend of jazz, R&B, funk and pop have made him a favorite among fans, fellow musicians and critics alike. Harp’s impressive career that has allowed him to collaborate with everyone from Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Anita Baker, Luther Vandross and Patti Labelle to George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel and Kenny Loggins. Harp has left an indelible imprint on the scene with his own unique, muscular and soulful approach. His work on TV has brought his saxophone into the homes of millions who have heard him playing the theme songs for such popular TV shows as Entertainment Tonight and Soul Train. He also holds the distinction of being a former member of the posse on the first Arsenio Hall Show. A graduate of North Texas State University, Harp hosts the radio program Smooth Jazz Odyssey with Everette Harp on WLOQ in Orlando, FL. His latest solo release is First Love.
Chuck Loeb sums it up best, “The Music is fresh, inventive, and just plain fun. Collaboration is at it’s best when the result is greater than the sum of its parts and I think that’s what we got here – Jazz Funk Soul!”
Release Date: June 24, 2014
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