It seems like Jeff Lorber has been around for quite awhile. Come to think of it, the first time we learned of Mr. Lorber was in 1986, through an RnB/Dance track. It was Facts Of Love, and that was also the time we first learned about a new singer on the scene, Karyn White.
It is 2023, and Lorber has released his 30th album as a leader. It is under the Jeff Lorber Fusion outfit, and it is called The Drop.
With Jeff Lorber Fusion, you get some excellent musicianship throughout, and this effort is no different. Along to help out is an all-star cast, which includes bassist and longtime Jeff Lorber Fusion members bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Gary Novak, guitarists Paul Jackson, Jr. (also a member of Jazz Funk Soul with Lorber and Everette Harp), Snarky Puppy's Marc Lettieri, bassist Cornelius Mims and saxophonist David Mann, among others.
Let's check out the new tunes!
Review - 'The Drop' By Jeff Lorber Fusion
The album starts off with the title track, The Drop. They have it cooking like a Sunday afternoon with this one. You get hit with the horns throughout, and add to that, the keyboards and guitars, and it seems like they are just showing off. Pay attention to that breakdown a little more than halfway through, it is the chef's kiss.
Altered State is next. Talk about smooth as silk. Lorber tickles those keys like none other, and the guitars throw an accent mark on the track. There is a lot to like with this one.
With New Mexico, you get a little spice and attitude, with Gary Novak holding down the beats, and Randal Clark killing that alto sax. The musicianship is razor sharp, and we would LOVE to be a fly on the wall for that session.
You better hurry up and get On The Bus! You really get the vibe of rolling down the highway with this track. The guitar work is sophisticated, and Lorber backs that up with that rolling piano. These guys are truly professional artists putting in a day's work.
They smooth out the tempo a little with Hang Tight. Lorber takes over with the piano play, as he shows off those skills. This is just a cool track to have in your regular rotation.
In Liberty, there are plenty of interesting sounds to focus on. There are several different keyboard/string patterns to enjoy, and Mark Lettieri is wearing out those guitars. This is a nice groove that will fit any type of mood.
Keep On Moving is an apt title for this song. It is an uptempo track that will surely keep you moving if you need that extra push. Lorber takes the lead with the keys, but every instrument is featured, which always makes it interesting for the listener.
The funk is dripping with Mindshare. That bassline will grab you, then you will take in the keys and the horns. After that, you can sit back and take it all in, especially that change toward the end.
Reception is another funky track. Like all of the other tracks on this album, the musicianship is flawless, and the arrangements are impeccable. By the sound of it, this track would be a showstopper if they played it live.
Tail Lights is the last track, and let us just call this one Fusion-Pop. This is the type of track you can play for people who may not be fans of Jazz, but they would listen and probably respond with some positive energy. The crossover appeal is what we like about this song.
The Drop is out now and available to stream through your favorite service.