Shades of Soul
A decade ago, keyboardist Jeff Lorber, guitarist Marlon McClain, and bassist Nathaniel Phillips started recording an album under the group name Shades of Soul. The trio's history extends back nearly 20 years earlier than that, when Lorber played with McClain and Phillips' band Pleasure. They've finally decided to release the album, which is also called Shades of Soul (Narada). Several of the tracks, including the title track, "We Got to Live Together," and "Enjoy Yourself," hark back to classic '70s funk, while the melody of "Get Wid' It" is reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's '80s hit "Rockit." The lively "Then and Now" features an expressive sax performance by Art Porter that was recorded a couple of years before his death in a boating accident, and the tune is one of the album's highlights. Trumpeter Chris Botti also brings his distinctive sound to two tracks. Shades of Soul doesn't present anything particularly original, but it's a good-time album with plenty for the jazz-funk fan to enjoy.