Jeff Lorber

Private Passion

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Jeff Lorber reached his commercial peak with Private Passion, an album that has more to do with urban contemporary singing than it does with instrumental pop-jazz. Because it features R&B singers so prominently, Private Passion is a perfect example of what Lorber meant when, in 1998, he complained that the mid-'80s found him becoming "a sideman on my own records." In the 1990s, the keyboardist would return to giving himself a lot of solo space, but on Private Passion, Lorber the soloist/instrumentalist isn't the main attraction. The main attraction is the R&B singing of Michael Jeffries and Karyn White, whose memorable performance on the single "Facts of Love" not only put her on the map in the R&B market, but also did a lot to make this album the big seller it was. Private Passion does contain a few pleasant, if unremarkable, pop-jazz/NAC instrumentals. Freddie Hubbard takes a melodic fl├╝gelhorn solo on "Kristen," while guitarist Larry Carlton is employed on the Caribbean-flavored "Jamaica." But on the whole, Private Passion leaves jazz fans out in the cold, although it's often impressive and rewarding from an urban contemporary standpoint.

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