Release Date:
September 30, 2008

Reviewed by:
Bonnie Schendell

After much success with his last album, He Had A Hat, Jeff Lorber returns to his smooth jazz/R&B home with his latest release on Peak Records, Heard That.  The album is produced by Jeff and Rex Ridout and features a lot of heavy hitters:  Rick Braun, Gerald Albright, Paul Jackson, Jr., Alex Al, Tony Moore.  With a cast like that accompanying Jeff, you can’t go wrong.

The album kicks in with the totally funky “Come On Up.”  This song is so reminiscent of music of the 80s.  The vibe is infectious.  Next up is a remake of the Amy Winehouse tune, “Rehab.”  I really believe that Jeff’s version, featuring the man himself on keys and guitar, Rick Braun on trumpet, and Tony Moore on drums, is more intoxicating than the original.  This track is a standout that makes you want to dance the night away!  With a flugelhorn solo by Rick Braun, “Don’t Hold Back” gives Jeff the opportunity to be totally funky on the Rhodes.

“You Got Something” is a nice ballad featuring vocals by Phillip “Taj” Jackson.  It offers a great change to the instrumental music.  “Gamma Rays” gives a nod back to the jazz fusion days that made Jeff so popular.  Heading back into the total funky mode is “Don’t Stop.”  Chelsea Nicole adds just enough vocal to give it an edge and retro R&B feel.  For a tune where Jeff just lets it all fly, check out “The Bomb.”  It has a cool horn portion combined with a B3/drum finish that will take you by surprise.  “Take Control” is yet another true R&B track.  And another vocalist, Lauren Evans, adds the flavor.  And if you haven’t heard enough funk yet, then crank up the volume on “Night Sky” and the title track, “Heard That.”  A great way to close out the album.

So for all of the Jeff Lorber fusion fans out there, this album is going to whet your appetite.  It adds all of the elements that Jeff has perfected over the many years in the business.  Heard That could be one of his best yet!