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Jeff Lorber: He Had a Hat

By Published: May 17, 2007
AAJ: I agree. The camaraderie is audibly infused on every track. The album has a progressive and introspective vibe and, in that way, is distinctive from other albums. When the listener plays the album a milieu of experiences is created by the music.

JL: I think a lot of musicians—and I am certainly guilty of it—when they think about writing and recording, the idea of airplay becomes very important. With this record we really didn't think about that at all, we just tried to make music that would challenge us and the people that listened to it. I am really looking forward to playing gigs and performing this material. I am more excited about it than normal because this music definitely lends itself toward live performance.

AAJ: I'm sure your fans will be excited to hear these songs live.

Jeff LorberJL: Well they really all are favorites, but I have maybe four favorite tracks. It really depends. I mean the song "Surreptitious is definitely one that, just from a player's perspective, is really challenging and it forces you to practice and really work hard on it to get the most out of it. The same thing goes for "He Had a Hat. "Anthem for a New America is definitely another one of my favorites, and "Hudson —those are probably my four favorites, depending on my mood; I might get into one of the ballads like "Orchid or "Requiem for Gandalf. It is kind of a "best of in terms of material I have been working on.

AAJ: One of my favorite tracks is "Requiem for Gandalf.

JL: That was actually the first song that I wrote for the album. I had this wonderful cat for twenty years, and he finally passed away about a year ago, and it was very emotional. You get very attached to your pet. I just sat down and poured my heart into that song and I think you can really hear that in the melody.

AAJ: It is a beautiful song.

JL: We were very lucky to get [saxophonist] Tom Scott to do the arranging on that, he contributed so much, the brass ensemble that he put together, and the way that he arranged it, gives it real flavor; and also on "Almost Blues, that is definitely one of my favorites. The horn arrangements on those two songs are very special.

AAJ: Absolutely. Wasn't it Bobby Colomby's idea to give "Almost Blues a [Miles Davis'] Sketches of Spain (Columbia, 1959) vibe?

JL: Right, that was Bobby's contribution he came up with that idea. If he just thinks about something, he already knows how it is going to come out. I wasn't quite as confidant as he was, but after we finished the arrangement I was really pleased with it.

AAJ: I think that this album really is a testament to the wonderful career that you have as an artist, and really showcases the evolution in terms of creating something new and interesting.

JL: I just kind of look at this record as being the direction I would like to continue to go in. To make music that is harmonically adventurous and challenging. I am very lucky to have a collaborator like Bobby and great musicians like this to work with. I certainly hope to pursue that path of writing and recording.

Selected Discography

Jeff Lorber, He Had a Hat (Blue Note, 2007)

Jeff Lorber, Flipside (Narada Jazz, 2005)

Jeff Lorber, Philly Style (Narada Jazz, 2003)

Jeff Lorber, The Very Best of Jeff Lorber(Grp/Verve, 2002)

Jeff Lorber, Kickin' It (Samson, 2001)

Jeff Lorber, The Definitive Collection (Arista, 2000)

Jeff Lorber, Midnight (Zebra, 1998)

Jeff Lorber, State of Grace (Verve Forecast, 1994)

Jeff Lorber, West Side Stories (Verve Forecast, 1994)

Jeff Lorber, Worth Waiting For (Verve Forecast, 1991)

Jeff Lorber, Private Passion (Warner Bros., 1990)

Jeff Lorber, Step by Step (Arista, 1984)

Jeff Lorber, Lift Off (Arista, 1984)

Jeff Lorber, In the Heat of the Night (Arista, 1984)

Jeff Lorber, It's a Fact (Arista, 1982)

Jeff Lorber, Galaxian (Arista, 1981)

Jeff Lorber, Wizard Island (Arista, 1980)

Jeff Lorber, Water Sign (Arista, 1979)

Jeff Lorber, Soft Space (Inner City, 1978)

Jeff Lorber, The Jeff Lorber Fusion (Inner City, 1977)

Photo Credits
Top Photo: Nicolas Zucker
Bottom Photo: Vincent van de Wijngaard/unit C.M.A.

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