Jeff Lorber

He Had a Hat

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He Had a Hat Review

by Matt Collar

A sophisticated showcase for his varied jazz styles, Jeff Lorber's He Had a Hat finds the pianist moving from softly funky pop-jazz numbers to a few straight-ahead swingers. Always an urbane and tasteful musician, Lorber has often found a good balance between contemporary pop oriented material and more cerebral improvisational cuts, and He Had a Hat is a prime example of this duality. To these ends, tracks like the title cut and the frenetic "Surreptitious" evince a kind of Tower of Power meets Brecker Brothers funk. Fittingly, trumpeter Randy Brecker adds his supple chops to the latter track. Similarly engaging big-band numbers like "All Most Blues" and the afterglow ballad "Orchid" bring to mind both early- and late-period Miles Davis, respectively. Also joining Lorber here are a bevy of name artists including trumpeter Chris Botti, vocalist Paula Cole, saxophonist Gerald Albright, and many others.This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

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