The pretzel on the cover of Jeff Lorber's Philly Style (Narada) isn't the only tasty thing about the album. Renowned keyboardist-producer and Philly native Lorber teamed with producer Steven Dubin, also a Philly native, and together they paid tribute to their shared hometown's distinguished musical tradition by serving up a hefty helping of funky, groove-driven, smooth-jazz tunes.
Philly Style opens with the rollicking "Under Wraps," then moves on to "Gigabyte," which grooves along merrily with bassist Alex Al and drummer John Roberts setting the groove, Lorber's keyboards gamboling on top, and a horn section shading it all. "Uncle Darrow's" achieves a retro feel, courtesy of a horn section comprising saxophonist Gary Meek and trumpeter Ron King, while husky-voiced vocalist Naila croons on the chorus of Lorber's fusion-esque take on Goodie Mob's hip-hop hit "Soul Food," and Meeks' sax flutters gracefully around Lorber's elegant piano on the atmospheric ballad "When She Smiles." This is a fun, well-performed collection that will give Lorber fans plenty to munch on.