By the mid-'80s, Jeff Lorber placed improvisation on the back burner and took a highly commercial, radio-oriented approach that offered little evidence of his skills as a soloist. But early in his career, the electric keyboardist specialized in very accessible yet free-spirited and creative jazz/funk/R&B stressing improvisation and spontaneity. Water Sign, one of Lorber's strongest dates, unites his working group of 1979 (which includes Danny Wilson on electric bass and Dennis Bradford on drums) with high-quality soloists like Freddie Hubbard (flügelhorn), Joe Farrell (flute), and Dennis Springer (tenor and soprano sax). Whether digging into the gritty jazz/funk grooves of "Tune 88," "Toad's Place," and "Right Here" or a piece as charming as "Sparkle," the players don't hesitate to stretch out and say what needs to be said.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson