Saturday, February 14, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The return of Jeff Lorber Fusion

Today, let's check out some video clips previewing next week's performances by keyboardist Jeff Lorber, who will be playing Wednesday, February 18 through Saturday, February 21 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Officially billed as Jeff Lorber Fusion featuring Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal, this will be the group's second time at the Bistro after having played there previously in 2011. That was shortly after Lorber first teamed up with Haslip, longtime bassist for the Yellowjackets, and Marienthal, who originally came to wide public attention with the Chick Corea Elektric Band, to revisit the ensemble style and sound, and even some of the same material, that first brought him to fame in the late 1970s.

Their initial album under the revived Jeff Lorber Fusion banner, Now Is The Time, was released in 2010 on Heads Up Records and nominated for the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Lorber's subsequent recordings Galaxy (2012) and Hacienda (2013) continued the collaboration with Haslip and Marienthal. In recent years the three also have played a number of live dates, backed by several different drummers, and today you can see and hear some close-up examples of what their show is like.

First up is a version of Lorber's tune "Chinese Medicinal Herbs" recorded in May, 2014 at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles with Third Richardson on drums. This looks to have been shot by an audience member sitting jsut a few feet away from the band, and does a good job of conveying what it's like to hear them in an intimate venue.

After the jump, you can see them playing Frank Zappa's "King Kong" and Lorber's own "Hacienda" from a gig in June, 2014 at The Blue Note in NYC, this time with Lionel Cordew on drums. (These recordings appear to have been made surreptitiously from the audience, but even if the video quality reflects that, the audio is good.)

That's followed by a version of "Montserrat" with drumming from Gary Novak, recorded in 2012 at Spaghettini's in Los Angeles; and finally, a full show in three parts, featuring Lorber, Marienthal, Haslip and drummer Sonny Emory at the 2012 Festiwal Jazz na Starówce in Starówce, Poland.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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