Jeff Lorber

The Very Best of Jeff Lorber

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Unlike 2000's Definitive Collection, the inappropriately titled The Very Best of Jeff Lorber only focuses on his work since 1993. This is a shame, because despite the quality of his playing, his earliest albums display a thoughtful take on fusion that emphasized the rock elements more than jazz. In the '90s, Lorber's funky smooth jazz doesn't have the same groundbreaking feel or youthful energy that he was so good at creating. His music can still be a lush, powerful force (just check out "Yellowstone" for proof), but it can suffer from an indistinct feel that suggests a hundred other players. Still, the small experimental touches (such as the whispered vocals in "Punta del Este") can still shake up his material, making this an above-average collection that doesn't begin to touch the breadth of its subject's catalog.

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